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North African Matbucha


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.