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How to Make Matbucha (a Moroccan Tomato Salad)

Randi was born and raised in the USA but spent 12 years in beautiful Israel, where she learned to make these delicious, healthy salads

A perfect appetizer!

A perfect appetizer!

Both Moroccan and Israeli meals are known for being flavorful. Many of the dishes start out with the same tasty base before taking on a flavor of their own. One such staple is known as Matbucha. It is a basic, simple cooked tomato salad that is oh, so much more! I will be showing you how to make the basic salad as well as some variations. Following this, I will be adding some of the dishes that you can prepare starting with a basic Matbucha.

Interesting Facts About the Origin of Matbucha.

  • The word Matbucha comes from Arabic and means "cooked" (salad).
  • It is often called Turkish salad.
  • It hails from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.
  • It is uncertain how old this recipe is but tomatoes were only introduced to the East around 1800.

The Basic Ingredients of Matbucha.

The ingredients vary somewhat from household to household, but Matbucha is generally made from roasted sweet red peppers and tomatoes. Some people add garlic or onions. Many people add assorted bell peppers and spicy, hot peppers. Seasoning can vary fron light salt to spicy hot paprika. Some people will mix it with Harissa for an extra hot salad.

Please rate this Matbucha recipe.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

2 hours 30 min

2 hours 50 min

20 servings

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Ingredients

  • 20 whole plum tomatoes, or you can use any type of tomato you like
  • 3 whole sweet red peppers, can use any variety of sweet peppers
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 whole hot peppers, I use Anaheim. You can use the hot pepper of your choice or none at all
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • A handful fresh cilantro
  • salt, sweet and hot paprika, to taste

Instructions

  1. I blanch my tomatoes for easy peeling. Please watch my video for easy instructions on how to blanch tomatoes.
  2. Heat the oil in a saute pan. Chop the sweet peppers and saute them over medium heat.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into thin strips and add them to the pan.
  4. Chop the garlic and add it and the cilantro to the mixture.
  5. Put in whole hot peppers. Do not slit or cut them yet unless you want them extremely spicy.
  6. Turn the stove on high and let mixture come to a boil, stirring every now and then.
  7. Turn the stove to low and cover the pan. Let it simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every so often. Be careful not to open those hot peppers while you are stirring!
  8. Remove from heat and let the salad cool down. I usually take the hot peppers out right away.
  9. When it is cool, I split mine in half and add the chopped hot peppers to one half.
  10. Put into small containers to refrigerate or freeze. Remember to have a jar ready, too!

How to Blanch a Tomato

The Beauty of Matbucha.

Matbucha is a great accompaniment on the Israeli table. It tastes great with bread. It can also be used as a sandwich spread. It adds a pleasant savory flavor to meat or chicken or even alone between two slices of bread. When I make Matbucha, I always make quite a bit. I serve some right away but I also make enough to both put away for later and to use some for cooking. I keep a jar of Matbucha in my refrigerator. When I am cooking, I add a spoonful or two to flavor my sauce. I also use matbucha as a sphagetti sauce base. This is especially good when I don't have enough time to make my own, homemade sauce. I simply add a few tablespoons of my Matbucha salad to plain tomato sauce, paste or jarred pasta sauce. It lends it that nice homemade flavor. I always use it when I am preparing my Spicy Moroccan Fish.

B'Tayavon (Hebrew for Bon Appetite)

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