How to find Tapatio in the Middle East

20140526-212421-77061225.jpgAs far as hot sauces go, Tapatio isn’t actually very hot. The American-made “salsa picante” only registers around 3,000 on the Scoville heat scale, which is about three times hotter than the very mild, yet similarly flavored, Cholula sauce.

But Tapatio is one of those all-purpose hot sauces that you should keep on hand in your kitchen.

Tapatio, which means ‘one who hails from Guadalajara,’ Mexico, (even though the sauce is actually produced in California), is an excellent companion spice for just about anything: salads, eggs, chicken and meat, nachos, etc. They even make Tapatio-flavored Doritos and Fritos.

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How to make zhug (Yemeni hot sauce)

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One of the best hot sauces on the planet comes from Yemen, a nation on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

It’s called zhug, a fiery chili pepper paste that is both rich in flavor and spicy enough to require a tall glass of water on hand while eating. The main ingredient in zhug is the serrano, which can be a fairly hot chili depending on the individual pepper. The other two main flavors come from garlic – there is a lot of it in zhug – and cumin.

Zhug is starting to get more recognition on the international stage, though it’s already quite popular in the Middle East. It can be found at Yemeni restaurants across the region (see here, for example). It’s also very popular in Israel; zhug was brought to Israel by Yemenite Jews as they immigrated in the last half century. Today, zhug is a common condiment in Israeli street food, commonly spooned onto falafel and shwarma sandwiches.

Indeed, zhug goes well as a savory spread with just about anything: salads, chicken, meat, fish, eggs, and any type of sandwich or wrap. The only trouble is that its very difficult to find the green hot sauce for sale in grocery stores, especially outside of the Middle East.

So here is a simple, step-by-step illustrated recipe for making quick and easy batch of zhug at home with minimal ingredients.  Note: there are many, many ways to make zhug (some Yemenis, for example, blend mint leaves into the mix) – this is just one example.

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Indian Chef finds ‘happiness’ in Mongolian Chinese

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Who says you have to be Chinese to make good Chinese food?

At the Mongolian Chinese Restaurant in Abu Dhabi, the chef is Indian – but he sure knows how to “tingle your taste buds” with a good meal of Asian food.

Sudis Rana, originally from Calcutta in the eastern region of India, came to Abu Dhabi to cook his specialty, Cantonese and Szechuan cuisine. Rana learned from Chinese chefs working in hotels in India beginning at age 14. That was 30 years ago.

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How to find Cholula in the Middle East

Cholula is one of the best and most versatile hot sauces on the market.

Branded as the “flavorful fire,” Cholula isn’t actually all that fiery. The Mexican hot sauce registers a measly 1000 on the Scoville scale (a single jalapeño pepper can be up to ten times hotter).

But Cholula, with its blend of mild pequin and arbol peppers combined with herbs and vinegar, is a must-have for any pepper lover.  That little bottle with the famous wooden top goes well with just about anything – eggs, pizza, salads. Cholula is perfect when you want flavor and not a lot of burn.

The only problem with Cholula?  It’s hard to find outside of North America.

That’s where Fuddruckers comes in.

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