Today we are going to explore the flavors of North African cuisine. Matbucha, pronounced (Mott-Boo-Chah), from the Arabic, maṭbūkhah, is a dish consisting of roasted green peppers (I used red too), tomatoes, garlic and chili pepper. The name in Arabic means “cooked salad”. In Israel this salad is sometimes referred to as a “Turkish Salad” and was brought to Israel by immigrants from countries in North Africa. This is usually served as an appetizer or Meze (small dishes served as an appetizer in the Middle East and the Balkans) and at room temperature or even chilled. This would go wonderful as a spread on crackers too. I originally saw this recipe on Tory Avey’s site called The Shiksa in the Kitchen To see how it’s made, keep reading.
(you can even double it or triple the recipe)
2 green peppers, roasted and chopped
1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes with their juices
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1-2 tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (more, if you like it spicy)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. paprika
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
To a large Dutch oven add the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, sugar, red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. You don’t want the mixture to stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the mixture is cooked down and the liquid is absorbed. While I was stirring, I also chopped the tomatoes and peppers even more.
After the mixture has thickened and the liquid absorbed, add in your paprika and olive oil. Mix well. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.