Authentic Israeli Matbucha Recipe

What is Matbucha?

Matbucha is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that has become increasingly popular around the world. This delicious salad is made from cooked tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, and hot chili peppers, giving it a medium level of heat. The origins of matbucha can be traced back to Moroccan cuisine, where it is typically served as a chunky sauce or dip. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a dip, spread, or even used as a sauce for pastas and pizzas. In this article, we will share an authentic matbucha recipe that you can easily follow to prepare this flavorful salad at home. So, let’s get started!

What is Salade Cuite?

Salade Cuite, also known as cooked salad, is a popular dish among Sephardic Jews. It is similar to Matbucha, another favorite among the Sephardic community. Salade Cuite is a cooked tomato dish that is typically prepared by slowly cooking down tomatoes and bell peppers with olive oil and garlic, along with other spices like sweet paprika.

What makes Salade Cuite so versatile is that it can be used in many different ways. It can be enjoyed as a dip with pita or crackers, served as a salad on its own, or even used as a topping for baked eggs. It’s easy to see why this dish has become such a staple among Sephardic Jews and beyond.

While there may be some differences between Salade Cuite and Matbucha, they share a common thread of being delicious cooked tomato dishes that are enjoyed around the world. So whether you’re looking for a flavorful dip to share with friends or a tasty salad to enjoy on your own, Salade Cuite is definitely worth trying.

The Origins of Matbucha

Matbucha is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that has gained popularity worldwide. The origins of matbucha can be traced back to North Africa, particularly to Morocco, where it was first created as a cooked tomato salad using preserved tomatoes. The dish was developed as a way of preserving tomatoes during periods of time when they were not in season.

Over time, the dish made its way to Israel, where it gained immense popularity due to the Jewish immigration. Today, matbucha is available in many different variations, such as roasted peppers, bell peppers, and sundried tomato paste. The dish can be served as a delicious salad or used as a sauce for pasta or pizza.

In summary, the origins of matbucha can be attributed to the preservation of tomatoes during seasons when they were not readily available. The dish was developed in North Africa and eventually made its way to Israel, where it gained a loyal following. Matbucha is available in a variety of forms and can be used as a dip, salad, or sauce. It is a delicious dish that is worth trying.

Bell Pepper2 large, diced
Olive Oil1/3 cup
Cooked Tomatoes2 (28-ounce) cans, crushed
Pasta Sauce1 cup
Roasted Peppers2, diced
Cloves Garlic4, minced
Sweet Paprika1 tablespoon
Salt1 teaspoon
Green Bell Pepper1, diced

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Calories: 300 calories per serving (serving size: 1/2 cup)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the bell pepper, cooked tomatoes, pasta sauce, roasted peppers, garlic, paprika, and salt.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Stir in the green bell pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Serve warm or cold.

Benefits of Eating Matbucha

Matbucha is a flavorful and nutritious Mediterranean dish that has been gaining popularity all over the world. It is a versatile dish that can be used as a sauce, dip, or salad. Consuming matbucha regularly has numerous health benefits due to the various vitamins and minerals it contains.

For starters, this delicious salad is packed with vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C also helps to protect our cells from free radicals, which can cause a host of illnesses. Additionally, Matbucha is rich in vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy eyes, skin, and teeth.

This tasty dish is also a good source of calcium, which is crucial for strong bones and teeth. In addition, Matbucha contains potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and iron, which is essential for maintaining healthy red blood cells.

By incorporating Matbucha into your diet, you can enjoy all these amazing health benefits and promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle. With its high nutritional value, Matbucha is an excellent addition to a healthy diet, and it is sure to please your taste buds as well. So why not give this delicious and healthy dish a try?

Long Description of Ingredients

Matbucha is a delightful Middle Eastern dish that boasts of a long list of ingredients. Bell pepper, cooked tomatoes, sweet paprika, garlic cloves, and olive oil are just some of the many ingredients used to make this delicious salad. Sun-dried tomato paste, jalapeno peppers, hot pepper flakes, and even sundried olives are other unique ingredients that make matbucha a dish unlike any other. To prepare this delectable salad, you must have fresh tomatoes, green peppers, and hot peppers at your disposal. Once you have all the ingredients, you can begin the process of making an authentic and flavorful matbucha dish.

Bell Pepper

Bell pepper is a vital ingredient in authentic matbucha and adds a unique flavor and color to the dish. It is a key component that contributes to the overall taste and texture of the recipe. When combined with cooked tomatoes and garlic, bell pepper enhances the flavor of matbucha.

Different types of bell peppers, including green, red and yellow, can be used in matbucha. However, the most traditional color used in this dish is green. The distinct flavor and color of bell pepper provide a Middle Eastern twist to the recipe.

To prepare matbucha, first, roast the bell peppers and remove their skin to extract the skinned pepper flesh. Afterward, combine the pepper flesh with cooked tomatoes and minced garlic in a food processor. Next, add sweet paprika, chili flakes, salt, and a pinch of sugar to taste and continue to blend the mixture until it turns into a chunky sauce. Finally, heat the matbucha on medium-high heat for 30-60 minutes.

Overall, matbucha is a delicious salad or dip that originated in the Middle East, and bell pepper is an essential ingredient in making this flavorful and unique dish.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is an essential component of Matbucha recipe, adding flavor and richness to the dish. The right amount of olive oil can play a crucial role in enhancing the overall taste of the salad. Apart from imparting a distinct flavor to the dish, olive oil aids in cooking the ingredients. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in almost all stages of cooking, adding depth and richness to the recipe.

For this recipe, we need two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. After roasting the bell peppers and mincing the garlic, we stir fry them in the olive oil until they are slightly tender. This ensures that the ingredients cook evenly and that the flavors are well distributed throughout the dish. The olive oil also helps in bringing out the natural sweetness of the bell peppers and adding a layer of richness to the dish.

In conclusion, the use of olive oil in matbucha recipe is critical in creating an authentic and delicious salad. It not only adds a unique flavor to the plate but also plays a crucial role in cooking the ingredients. So, always remember to use the right amount of olive oil to achieve that perfect balance of flavors in your matbucha.

Cooked Tomatoes

To make authentic matbucha, it is essential to use ripe and sweet tomatoes that impart a rich and savory flavor to the dish. Start by roasting the bell peppers and tomatoes until they are slightly charred and the skins have blackened. This process will infuse the vegetables with a smoky flavor and elevate the taste of the dish.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, remove the skins, and cut them into small pieces. In a separate pan, add a generous amount of garlic, olive oil, and paprika. Cook the mixture until the garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Then, add the roasted peppers and diced tomatoes to the pan.

Simmer the mixture on medium heat for about 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally until the matbucha reaches the desired consistency. The cooked tomatoes will release their juices, creating a sauce-like texture that is rich and flavorful. Adjust the seasoning with a pinch of salt, sugar, or additional spice (such as chili pepper flakes) to suit your taste.

Overall, cooked tomatoes play a crucial role in making matbucha, and roasting them with peppers and blending them with garlic, olive oil, and paprika add depth and character to the dish. With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you can create a delicious matbucha that is sure to impress.

Pasta Sauce

Pasta sauce serves as a convenient base for Authentic Matbucha, as it is readily available and can be made from cooked tomatoes as a primary ingredient. The recipe for matbucha calls for diced tomatoes, which can be easily turned into a pasta sauce by cooking them with some olive oil and roasted peppers until they soften and thicken. The sauce can then be mixed with paprika, garlic, and additional seasonings to enhance its flavor.

Using pasta sauce as a base for matbucha not only speeds up the preparation process, but also ensures a consistent flavor and texture throughout the dish. Additionally, pasta sauce brings a deeper, richer flavor to the matbucha as its cooked tomatoes release their juices, creating a sauce-like texture that is deliciously rich and flavorful.

To use pasta sauce in matbucha, simply cook diced tomatoes and roasted peppers in olive oil until they soften and thicken to create a pasta sauce. Then add this sauce along with additional spices to the matbucha recipe and simmer on medium heat for 30-60 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency. This chunky sauce can be served as a dip or spread, or used as a topping for burgers and pizzas, making it a versatile condiment that is sure to impress.

Roasted Peppers

Roasted peppers are an essential ingredient in any authentic Moroccan Matbucha recipe. Not only do they add a rich, smoky flavor to the dish, but they also provide a vibrant splash of color that makes it all the more tempting. Typically, red bell peppers are used to give the matbucha its characteristic hue, but other varieties like jalapeno peppers or even hot pepper flakes can be added to give the dish an extra kick.

One important step in preparing roasted peppers for the matbucha is to skin them to get the flesh that’s soft and flavorful. To do this, you’ll need to hold the roasted pepper under cool running water and gently peel off the skin. Then, you can chop or blend the skinned pepper flesh and add it to the matbucha to enhance its texture and flavor further.

Whether you’re looking to add some spice to your salads, burgers, or pasta dishes, roasted peppers are a versatile and delicious ingredient that will take your meals to a whole new level. With their rich flavor and cheerful color, they’re sure to leave your taste buds satisfied and your guests impressed.

Cloves Garlic

Garlic is an essential component of authentic matbucha, and it plays a crucial role in imparting a robust flavor to the dish. Adding cloves of garlic to the mixture is a standard practice in the preparation of matbucha. However, it is essential to puree or crush the garlic cloves before adding them to the matbucha to ensure that all the flavors are evenly distributed.

To make garlic puree, the cloves can be peeled, minced, and then mashed with a fork until they form a smooth paste. Alternatively, a garlic crusher can be used to crush the cloves into a fine paste. Adding this pureed garlic to the matbucha enhances its taste while also providing numerous health benefits.

In many recipes, matbucha is often referred to as “salade cuite,” which translates to cooked salad. When preparing matbucha, the garlic is typically added during the cooking process to release its flavor and blend with the other ingredients. As the matbucha simmers, the flavors develop, and the garlic infuses into the sauce, resulting in a delicious and savory dish that is enjoyed in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Sweet Paprika

Sweet paprika is a crucial ingredient in the authentic matbucha recipe. This Middle Eastern spice is known for its mild heat and subtle sweetness, which adds a unique flavor profile to this delicious salad. Without sweet paprika, matbucha wouldn’t be complete.

To make authentic matbucha, 2-3 teaspoons of sweet paprika are needed, depending on the desired level of spiciness. This spice plays a significant role in balancing the acidity of the cooked tomatoes and bell peppers. It also helps to enhance the aroma and color of the dish, making it a feast for both the eyes and the palate.

In summary, sweet paprika is a must-have ingredient for making authentic matbucha. Its Middle Eastern origins make it a perfect fit for this dish, and its mild heat and subtle sweetness add just the right amount of complexity to the overall flavor. So, next time you’re making matbucha, don’t forget to add sweet paprika to achieve that delicious, authentic taste.

½ tsp Salt

Salt is an essential ingredient when making authentic matbucha, as it enhances the flavors of other key ingredients in the dish. In particular, it helps bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, bell peppers, and garlic that are used in the recipe.

When preparing matbucha, it’s recommended to use ½ tsp of salt. However, the amount can be adjusted according to individual taste preferences. It’s important not to overdo it, as too much salt can easily overpower the other flavors in the dish.

To incorporate the salt into the matbucha, simply add it along with the other spices and seasonings during the cooking process. The combination of salt, fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic, and other spices creates a delicious and authentic Middle Eastern flavor that is sure to impress.

In summary, when making matbucha, be sure to add salt to enhance the flavor of the dish. Start with ½ tsp and adjust according to your taste preferences. By using the right amount of salt, you’ll create a delicious matbucha that is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Middle Eastern Spice Blend (Optional)

For those looking to add an extra layer of flavor to their matbucha, a Middle Eastern spice blend can be a great addition. This traditional blend of spices often includes cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom, among other spices. These spices are commonly used in Moroccan cuisine and can add complexity and depth to the dish.

Adding the spice blend to the matbucha is simple. During the cooking process, simply sprinkle in a small amount of the blend to taste. Be cautious not to add too much, as the spices can easily overpower the other flavors in the dish. The Middle Eastern spice blend can also be used in a variety of other Moroccan dishes, such as tagines or couscous.

Overall, the Middle Eastern spice blend is a great option for those looking to add a touch of authenticity and complexity to their matbucha or other Moroccan dishes. With its unique combination of spices, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom, this blend is sure to impress and enhance the flavors of any dish it is added to.

Green Bell Pepper (Optional)

While not crucial to the recipe, adding diced green bell pepper to matbucha can add an extra layer of flavor that pairs perfectly with the other components of this delicious salad. Green bell peppers have a mild heat that isn’t overpowering, making them a great addition for those who don’t like their food too spicy. They also impart a slightly sweet flavor that complements the tangy roasted red peppers and cooked tomatoes.

To incorporate green bell pepper into the matbucha, simply dice them up and add them in with the other vegetables. Roast them along with the red peppers and tomatoes for best results. While optional, this ingredient can take the matbucha to the next level and turn it into a flavor-packed dish that is perfect for any occasion.

Additionally, the addition of green bell pepper is a great way to put a personal twist on the traditional matbucha recipe. So, go ahead and experiment with this optional ingredient and see how it adds a new dimension to this classic Middle Eastern salad.

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