North African Matbucha

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You can also sprinkle with fresh basil, parsley, or whatever you have on hand. North African women would first pop the tomatoes into boiling water and skin them. I don’t bother. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4 cupsServings


  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 large tomatoes, 6 of them chopped in chunks (about 5 pounds/2⅓ kilos)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and roast the peppers on a roasting pan until charred, turning every 10 minutes, for 20 to 30 minutes. Put them in a paper or plastic bag for a half hour (this helps loosen the skin), then peel, remove the seeds and juice, and slice in long slivers. 

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil with the garlic and add the peppers and the 6 chopped tomatoes, slowly cooking uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates. Add the coriander, cumin, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar and adjust the seasonings to taste.

3. To serve, arrange the salad on an attractive flat plate. Garnish with the remaining tomato, sliced thinly, and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Excerpted from King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World.