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Spicy Roast Hokkaido with Lamb and Zhoug

© 2020 | | © 2020 |

Zhoug / Zhug (Pronounced Zoog) is a hot green sauce (aka “Middle Eastern pesto”) originating in Yemeni cuisine that’s a go-to condiment for falafel and is eaten with bread for those who want heat with every bite. It’s a must with Shakshuka. Here I have paired it with roasted Hokkaido pumpkin for a no-fuss side that’s a winner with lamb flavoured with cinnamon, cayenne and pomegranate molasses.

Zhoug / Hot Green Sauce
  • 1.5 kg Hokkaido pumpkin, unpeeled, cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 350 g Ground lamb
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate arils, optional
  • Fresh cilantro and flat parsley
  • 10 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp Caraway seeds
  • 6 Cloves
  • 3 Long green chillies, coarsely chopped (or jalapeños)
  • 3 Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 15 g Coriander leaves, coarsely chopped (I used the frozen one)
  • 70 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice
  1. Toast the cardamom pods in a dry skillet over medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and smash with a pestle to crack open the pods. Spread the cracked pods out, so you can pick out the shells and discard. Dry-roast caraway seeds and cloves in a frying pan over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Coarsely crush cardamom, caraway seeds and cloves with a mortar and pestle. Or whirl the seeds in a coffee grinder for 15-20 seconds or so. Add green chilli, garlic and salt and pound until broken down. Add coriander and half the oil, pound to break down leaves, then stir in lemon juice and remaining oil and season to taste. Chill until ready for use.
  3. Preheat oven to 180C fan forced /350F. Line a large oven tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin wedges, skin-side down, on oven tray. Brush the pumpkin wedges with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes until the wedges are tender.
  4. Meanwhile make lamb topping. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, cook shallot, cinnamon and cayenne, stirring for 3 minutes. Increase heat to high, add ground lamb, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Stir in pomegranate molasses, season to taste.
  5. Arrange the hokkaido wedges on a large serving platter. Spoon lamb topping over and serve topped with zhoug, fresh cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds if using. | © 2020 | | © 2020 |


Nancy Chan 3/11/20 12:24

This dish looks beautiful and delicious. I would love to taste zhoug but I know its a no no for hubby.

Kitchen Riffs 3/11/20 15:40

Pomegranate molasses is such good stuff! I'm out of it at the moment, but it's easy enough to make. And I'll want some, so I can make this! Really neat recipe -- looks SO good. Thanks!

Pam 4/11/20 02:27

You amaze me with your cooking every time I come here. This sounds and looks delicious!!! Rarely do I see recipes with cardamom pods and cracking them, love it! And caraway seeds, pomegranate molasses, lamb and all, I'd have to omit the cloves though. Great recipe, thanks!

Balvinder 4/11/20 05:21

Mmmm! I’ve never tried squash with lamb before. All the ingredients going in sounds amazing. And that green sauce is a delicious idea to serve with!

Iwona 4/11/20 06:53

Great recipe. I love Hokkaido pumpkin :)

GlamourZONE 4/11/20 08:45

Looks delicious will give it a try

The Exclusive Beauty Diary 4/11/20 09:31

Never before I didn't try similar combination but must be very delicious. Thank you for sharing recipe.

New Post -

Ron 4/11/20 09:37

Great looking recipe and fantastic photography as always. Hokkaido is likely my fav winter squash and they're in abundance just now. Zhoug is a very tasty and spicy condiment. I rarely make it as we can get it fresh made here from our local falafel stand. So I'll just have to give this one a try. Great job Angie

ann low 4/11/20 10:11

I've heard of Zhoug but sounds delicious with roasted pumpkin :)

Natalia 4/11/20 12:39

How lovely and aromatic, the colors are stunning, yum!

Jeff the Chef 4/11/20 15:06

You call it a side, but I'd have this as a meal!

foodtravelandwine 4/11/20 20:18

It looks so comfy and delicious!...ideal for this weather!!!.......Abrazotes, Marcela

Sakuranko 4/11/20 20:25

The color looks so wonderful this is a prefect recipe for winter
thanks for share

Julie 5/11/20 14:31

I have never tasted pomegranate molasses..this recipe has unique flavors, must have been yummy too

tigerfish 5/11/20 15:56

Savory lamb mince with sweet pumpkin - perfect harmony.

Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought 5/11/20 20:07

That dish is stunningly gorgeous and it has some of my favorite flavors. Divine!

Lauren - 5/11/20 23:03

I recently had the chance to try zhoug and loved it! Love all the perfect fall feels this dish is giving off with the pumpkin and pomegranate... yum!

Eva Taylor 6/11/20 14:26

I’d love to try this pumpkin, I don’t think we have it here. The dish looks wonderful, warming and perfect for the chillier weather.

Suja Manoj 6/11/20 21:01

Sounds flavorful and delicious, love the sauce.

Arpita 7/11/20 00:03

Pumpkin and lamb together sounds so so delicious 😍

Kelly | Foodtasia 8/11/20 17:52

Love the Middle Eastern flavors in this dish, Angie! The spicy zhoug with the sweet pumpkin is a wonderful combination!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen 9/11/20 17:24

I have never seen Hokkaido pumpkin available here but all the flavors in this dish sound wonderful, Angie!

Alida@mylittleitaliankitchen 15/11/20 22:08

A feast of colours Angie! Very yummy lamb. We have it quite often too but not as nice as this. I love the combinations. Take care x

Noob Cook 19/11/20 15:00

"Zhoug" - I'm learning many new things from your blog :)


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