This tangy, sweet Moroccan Matbucha – Tomato & Pepper Salad is a real winner to have in your back pocket when creating meze style feasts. Packed to the brim with flavour – oh, and see how inviting it looks!
It's well documented here at cookeatblog.com that I love to eat Mediterranean/Middle Eastern style meze. All across the Med are cuisines that feature small plates of treasures that range from delicious to delightful – this Moroccan Matbucha - Tomato & Pepper Salad is one such treasure.
Small plates offer the eater with options! Who doesn't love options!? We can mix and match flavours - every bit can be different. It's like Christmas with every bite! Meze offers so many choices of colour, flavour and texture. This vibrant red tomato salad from Morocco lives up to the challenge in every way. The intensity of tangy, tart tomato is one thing, and the jam-like texture, designed to cling to anything it touches is another! It's made for dipping and scooping, and if like me you love to do that, you'll be in heaven.
You'll never again need (or want) a horrid store-bought dip in your life, when you've tasted this lovely Matbucha salad.
What is Matbucha?
Matbucha is a Jewish dish and originated in the Mahgreb region of North Africa. It's enjoyed in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. The Arabic dish is known also as مطبوخة - Matbukha. It's also eaten in Israel, brought to the region by Jewish immigrants.
The dish is comprised of stewed tomatoes, red peppers and chilli to create a reduced, jam-like consistency. It can be served mild or spicy - heat levels can be dialled up to your preference. Matbucha is typically served as a meze dish, as part of a larger spread. But, it can also used as a base for stews and tagines and sometimes becomes the main sauce for the beloved breakfast egg & tomato dish Shakshuka.
Matbucha salad is a great dish that sits alongside others for those at the table to dip and weave around with flatbreads, but it's also pretty fulfilling, on its own as a dip for one, with a bag of chips and a cracking TV show to lose yourself in. You'll be surprised just how delicious things can get with so few ingredients. You'll love the sweet, tart and tangy flavours of Matbucha salad.
More dishes to serve alongside Matbucha Salad
Lots of Middle Eastern foods work alongside this salad and each other. Here are a few of my most favourite for you mix and match with my Matbucha recipe.
Roast the red peppers in a very hot oven, or over a flame or on a hot grill until charred. Remove and cover briefly to allow sweating. Remove and discard the skins and seeds, then chop into small dice.
In a pan, heat the oil over a medium heat until just hot. Add the garlic and fry briefly before adding the tomatoes, pepper, chilli, salt, sugar and paprika. Stir well, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and gently cook for 1hr 15 mins, covered and around 15 minutes with the lid off – the matbucha will reduce and the liquid evaporate. Be careful during final cooking to stir frequently to avoid sticking.
Remove the matbucha from the heat and let cool to room temperature completely.
Serve at room temperature as part of a larger mezze feast or simply on its own with some flatbreads. You can refrigerate, but it tastes better if you let it come back to room temperature.
To make things more luxurious, you can drizzle over and stir in 1/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (yes, 1/3 cup!) it's delicious.
Moroccan Matbucha - Tomato & Pepper Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Vitamin A 4857IU97%
Vitamin C 127mg154%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.