Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (2024)

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Matbucha is an incredibly rich condiment that is indispensable on the Moroccan-Jewish mezze table.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Table of contents

  • What is Matbucha?
    • How to pronounce Matbucha?
  • Matbucha’s Origins
  • How to Cook Matbucha?
  • How to Serve Matbucha?
  • How to Store
    • The Fridge
    • The Freezer
  • More Old Jewish Recipes
Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (1)

What is Matbucha?

Also known as Salade Cuite (cuite = cooked) to French speaking communities in the Maghreb, matbucha is a slow cooked tomato based condiment that can be used in so many delicious ways.

It’s a very easy recipe to cook up, and if you make a large batch and bottle it up, can be enjoyed a long time after.

My first taste of matbucha was at aShabbat dinner in Tel Aviv, at the home of a colleague. It was so absolutely delicious, a combination of soft stewed tomatoes and grilled peppers, cooked until soft, with a just a touch of heat. I remember having to remindmyself to practise some restraint, it was so good, it wasn’t easy not to appear greedy! After all, there were lots of other delicious salads and dips on the table too. Andgefilte fish,don’t forget gefilte fish – one of my favourites until today!

s you may know, I’ve been to Morocco a number of times. And I was pleasantly surprised to find matbuchanot as uncommon as I might have thought, thinking that it might have been an old forgotten recipe. And best of all, it tasted just like the ones I had in Israel. My recipe here belongs to Nadia’s aunt, Nadia being the colleague mentioned above.

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (2)

How to pronounce Matbucha?

The first two syllables are easy enough, it’s the last that requires a little practice.

Mat – boo – kha

The ch in the final syllable is pronounced in the same way that you would pronounce them in the name of the German composer, Bach. So not a straight h. Not ha, but kha.

Matbucha’s Origins

The origin of matbucha can be traced back to around the late 18th century, when tomatoes were introduced to North Africa by the Brits.

Much like their Italian counterparts, cooks in North Africa started cooking down the bountiful harvest in order to preserve the tomatoes. Salade cuite was the result, served up as a cooked salad.

Sometime in the middle of the 20th century, immigrating Jews from the region took the recipe back to their new home in Israel. Each family had its own version, resulting in the variety we have today, some hot, some with lots of spices, some very basic, but all of them, glorious in their own right!

Ready made matbucha is easily found in the chillers in shops in Israel and I’m told that you can also find it easily in kosher shops in the US, right next to other dips like hummus and guacamole. But,you’ve heard me say this before, nothing beats homemade. And it really is a super easy recipe to make and best of all, can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge and served chilled. Which makes it perfect for Shabbat. And Ramadan. This is a multicultural blog, after all.

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (3)

How to Cook Matbucha?

Firstly, let me tell you that no two matbucha recipes are the same. Every family is going to have its own version of this much loved maghrebi recipe.

It’s still an ever-present condiment in Morocco and you will find it served throughout the country. And each eatery will have its own version. It is one of my must-have sides when I’m Morocco, which used to be very often.

The traditional salade cuite was fairly spicy as the fresh tomatoes were cooked down alongside green chillies (peppers). This is how I like to make mine, with a handful of whatever green chillies I happen to have in hand. And since I grow so many varieties every summer, there’s always a wonderful choice!

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (4)

All you really need to cook matbucha is:

  • tomatoes (fresh when in season, canned, otherwise)
  • green chillies (or bell peppers for a milder version)
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt

Everything else is optional. So on top of the ingredients mentioned above, you can have flavourings like:

  • smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
  • cumin
  • caraway
  • fresh herbs
  • even preserved lemons for a tangier depth
  • sundried tomato paste (this is my secret ingredient for many tomato based recipes)

In my recipe here, I’ve given a combination of green chillies and 1 red capsicum (bell pepper). You can use red or green, it doesn’t matter. When I make a big batch, I use both colours, alongside the chillies.

You can reduce the number of chillies if you like. Or use mild varieties.

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (5)

How to Serve Matbucha?

You can serve or use matbucha in so many different ways:

  • as part of a mezze or tapa spread, this will be as a dip or condiment
  • pasta sauce
  • to liven up mayo (I pimp mayo up with just about anything!)
  • sandwich spread, burger sauce
  • pizza sauce
  • make shakshuka
  • to enrich curries and stews
  • it makes a fantastic tagine base
  • canapé topping (including devilled eggs)
  • to jazz up omelettes

And I’m sure in so many other ways.

How to Store

As your matbucha is made primarily with tomatoes, it is fairly acidic. This makes it an ideal candidate for long term storage. Place in sterilised jars, and give them a water bath for 20 minutes. Leave to cool and then store in a dark place.

The jars will be perfectly fine for up to a year. If you need more information on how to give your salade cuite a water bath, drop me a comment.

If not given a water bath, matbucha can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or frozen.

The Fridge

Place your finished product in a clean jar, top with a layer of olive oil and cover tightly. You can then use however much you want. Top up with oil as necessary.

The layer of oil helps to keep out air, and therefore, prolong the life of your salade cuite.

The Freezer

I like to use little plastic pudding basins for this. I can then freeze exactly the amount I think I will need, leaving a little space at the top for expansion.

To use, just heat up in the microwave or on the stove top, adding a little water to the mix.

Ok then, shall we get in the kitchen?

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Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (6)

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Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (7)

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Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (8)

If you enjoy the recipe, drop me a comment and let me know. And if you are feeling like a star, don’t forget that 5-star rating! Thank you!

If you make this recipe, post it on Instagram and tag me@azlinbloor.

Lin xx

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (9)

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe)

Matbucha or Salade Cuite, is a cooked salad of tomatoes and capsic*ms (peppers) that originally came from the Moroccan Jewish community.

5 from 15 votes

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Course: Side Dish, Starter

Cuisine: Moroccan

Keyword: salad

Prep Time: 25 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour 10 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour 35 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 123kcal

Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 2 green capsic*ms bell pepper
  • 10 green chillies
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 400g can of chopped tomatoes or about 1 kg fresh (2.2 lb)
  • 2 Tbsp EV olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 Tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp balsamic vinegar


Grill/Roast the peppers

  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F/180°Fan).

    Halve the bell peppers, get rid of all the seeds and white bits. Then place them skin side up on a tray. Add the chillies, whole to the tray.

    This is my preferred method, as we don't need to flip them.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (10)

  • Place the tray in the oven to roast the chillies and peppers. The chillies will be done at around the 8-10 minute mark. Just get them out using kitchen tongs. Leave the peppers until the 20 minutes are up.

    You could also grill (broil) the peppers.

    Place the tray under a medium grill (broiler) and grill for 10 – 15 minutes. You will have to flip them over.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (11)

Peeling and Chopping

  • While the chillies and peppers are cooling down, finely chop the garlic or crush them with a garlic crusher.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (12)

  • When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off.

    Traditional advice is to place the peppers in a bag and seal, to help loosen the skin. I've never bothered, nor needed to do this, the skins come off easily enough.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (13)

  • Then dice them (chop them up into little cubes).

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (14)

  • Using your knife, hold down gently on the body of the roasted chillies and using your other hand, pull off the chilli stems. Then roughly chop them up.

    You could lose the seeds if you like, but I prefer to leave them in. Don't forget to use gloves when handling hot chillies.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (15)

Cooking the Matbucha

  • Place the peppers, chillies, tomatoes and garlic in a saucepan and let it all come to boil on medium heat.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (16)

  • Lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, by which time, the mixture would have dried up considerably.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (17)

  • Add the olive oil, paprika, sundried tomato paste, salt and sugar and stir to mix thoroughly, Continue cooking on the same heat for another 20 minutes, stirring as needed, especially in the last 5 minutes, to stop it from burning, as it will be fairly dry by then.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (18)

  • Turn the heat off, add the balsamic vinegar and stir to mix well. Matbucha can be enjoyed hot or at room temperature. Some even have it cold.

    Store as discussed in the post above.

    Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish Recipe) (19)


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 740mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 591IU | Vitamin C: 62mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

Matbucha (aka Salade Cuite, a Moroccan-Jewish  Recipe) (2024)


What is matbucha sauce made of? ›

Matbucha is made with tomatoes, peppers, garlic, olive oil, and paprika. It's traditionally a spicy dip, its heat coming from either jalapeño peppers or other fresh hot peppers, or by adding dry hot pepper like Aleppo pepper (Affiliate link), hot pepper flakes or cayenne.

How do you eat matbucha? ›

To start a meal Israeli-style, serve matbucha with a selection of salads and dips, such as homemade hummus, the roasted eggplant and tahini dip baba ghanoush, a cool cucumber and tomato salad, and freshly baked pita bread.

How do you thicken matbucha? ›

Final Touches Matbucha Cooked Tomato Recipe (Salade Cuite)

Add the sugar at this point. It helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes and thickens the sauce as it continues to cook. Cover and lower heat to simmer for another 30 minutes until the matbucha reduces and there is hardly any liquid remaining.

What is the history of matbucha? ›

Matbucha's Origins

The origin of matbucha can be traced back to around the late 18th century, when tomatoes were introduced to North Africa by the Brits. Much like their Italian counterparts, cooks in North Africa started cooking down the bountiful harvest in order to preserve the tomatoes.

What is in Bobby Flay sauce? ›

His fry sauce in particular has become a staple of Flay's, reflecting his signature style with a spicy twist. The best part about the recipe for Bobby Flay's fry sauce? It requires just three ingredients: mayonnaise, roasted red pepper puree, and adobo sauce.

Why is it called Romesco sauce? ›

Origins of Romesco Sauce Romesco originates from Tarragona in Southern Catalonia. The term 'romesco' comes from the Mozarabic “remescolar,” meaning "to mix." This sauce was first made by fishermen in the 15th century using simple ingredients like garlic, dry peppers, olive oil, dry bread, and wine.

How do you pronounce matbucha? ›

The process of bringing to life a product that most people have never heard of, let alone how to pronounce it (mat-boo-HA) is a tough one.

What is Skhug made of? ›

Skhug sauce is the hot sauce of choice in the Middle East, made from chili peppers, cilantro, and various spices. It can be red or green, depending on the color of the chilis.

How do you eat Tomalito? ›

Once you bring them home, peel it away to reveal the electric-green or purple skin. The inner flesh is white or light green and dense, yet soft. You can eat tomatillos raw or cooked -- I prefer cooking them to tone down their distinctly sour flavor.

Can you just add flour to thicken? ›

To use flour as a thickening agent: Use two tablespoons flour mixed with ¼ cup cold water for each cup of medium-thick sauce. Thoroughly mix in the water to prevent lumps. After stirring the combined flour and water into the sauce, cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.

How much cornstarch do I add to thicken? ›

If you're cooking hot liquids like sauces, stock or broth, 1 tablespoon of corn starch per cup of liquid will give you a thin to medium consistency that's appropriate for soups or very thin sauces. 2 tablespoons per cup will give you a thicker, more gravy-like consistency.

How much water do you add to cornstarch to thicken it? ›

To make a slurry, start with 1 to 2 ratio of cornstarch to water. For example, prepare 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water.

What is shifka? ›

In Hungary, the locals call it a shifka pepper while the rest of the world calls it a Bulgarian carrot pepper because of its origin and its remarkable resemblance to a carrot. Some people call them “Hot Carrots” as well. Shifkas are an ancient heirloom variety that originated in Bulgaria.

Where is shakshuka from? ›

Shakshuka is a simple dish made of gently poached eggs in a delicious chunky tomato and bell pepper sauce. Said to have originated in Tunisia, this breakfast recipe is popular in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It is so satisfying, you can serve it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Is hoisin sauce made of? ›

Ingredients. The key ingredient of hoisin sauce is fermented soybean paste. Some hoisin sauce ingredients include starches such as sweet potato, wheat and rice, and water, sugar, soybeans, sesame seeds, white distilled vinegar, salt, garlic, red chili peppers, and sometimes preservatives or coloring agents.

Where does Creole sauce come from? ›

Creole sauce, also referred to as "red gravy", creole tomato sauce, and sauce piquant in New Orleans, is a Creole cuisine, Haitian cuisine, and New Orleans cuisine sauce made by sauteeing vegetables in butter and olive oil. It is used in the American south.

Is hoisin sauce like? ›

Hoisin sauce tastes salty and tangy. It has a similar flavor profile to barbecue sauce, but with distinctly different flavors. It may taste slightly meaty or sweet.


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