Matbucha is an Arabic meal, which means “cooked salad”. It is made of stewed tomatoes, grilled bell peppers with garlic and cayenne chili pepper. It is very popular in Sephardic cuisine, and was brought to Israel by Arab immigrants from Magrib countries.
It is served cold, as a salad or as a sauce with mezze (meze, mezzeh).
- 1 kg fresh tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 50 ml olive oil
- 3 red bell peppers
- 2 cayenne chili peppers, deseeded
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Score the tomatoes and blanch them in hot water for 30 sec, refresh under the cold water. Peel the skin off, half and deseed
- Roast the peppers in the oven or grill them. Take off the skin and dice the flesh
- Chop the garlic very finely
- In the pan heat the oil, add in the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, garlic and simmer for 15-20 min on a low heat, stirring occasionally
- Stir in the peppers, add seasoning and simmer for 10-15 min
- Transfer to a food processor, add in the parsley and pulse until smooth
If you plan to serve this dish as a salad, then you don’t need to pulse it. I prefer to eat as a sauce. You can also add the preserved lemons. I add the powdered garlic to the already cooked sauce. Could be a good alternative to the ketchup.