You might already know my passion for eggplants by now. There is NO Shabbat meal without them! Growing up in a Moroccan home in Israel, there was an informal tradition that families started to follow on Fridays, and today there is no Friday that goes by without it. Preparing a soft challah roll sandwich for lunch, that is STUFFED with Shabbat salads; and the main 2 ingredients are EGGPLANT and MATBUCHA (Slow-cooked tomatoes until it becomes a jam)! The other main ingredient is a crispy warm schnitzel, but that’s a whole different subject for now. Anyhow, after you have the base of the eggplants and the matbucha on the roll, you can basically add whatever comes to mind, like cabbage or beet salad, for example, drizzled with tahini, and a deep-fried green chilly pepper, YUM!
This Moroccan Eggplant Matbucha Salad happens to be the combination of the 2 good worlds, both eggplant and Matbucha. There is nothing like it! I encourage you to make enough quantity because once you start, you can’t stop eating it!
This specific bowl was made from 1 big eggplant, but I encourage using 2 lightweight medium-big ones. The lighter is it is, the less seeds it has. I did a full cooking demo on this one on my Instagram, so you can watch all the steps here: https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17858969420246332/?hl=en
Let’s get started!
1). Heat up oil in a wide nonstick pot or pan over medium heat, add the diced peppers, mix and wait for the peppers turn golden, and the oil pink and rich, about 3-5 minutes.
2). While peppers are in the pan, use a vegetable peeler or a small knife, and peel the eggplants in zebra stripes. Cut into 1 inch cubes and set aside.
3). Chop the garlic and add to the peppers, mix well so that the garlic doesn’t burn, about 30-50 seconds or so.
4). Add the eggplants to the pan, and mix so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
5). Add the diced tomatoes, mix, add salt, cumin, paprika, diced jalapeno, and water and sugar.
6). Bring everything to a boil, cover with a lid, and lower the heat to low, and cook on low and slow for about an hour. Mix every 15 minutes or so.
7). Once the eggplant is cooked and mostly broken down, raise back the heat, take off the lid, and let all the water evaporate, so you stay with all the nice rich sauce only.
8). Let cool, place in the fridge, and garnish with parsley or cilantro before serving.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts about this salad!!!