Matbucha -- Moroccan Tomato and Pepper Salad

Moroccan Matbucha Tomato and Peppers

The Spruce / Miri Rotkovitz

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6-8 portions (6 to 8 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
40 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6-8 portions (6 to 8 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 40
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 442mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 2g
Calcium 40mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

"Matbucha, a traditional Moroccan dish, is so popular in Israel that it can be found right next to the hummus on grocery store shelves," says Giora Shimoni. But ever since his neighbor Carmit taught him how to make her spicy tomato and pepper-based matbucha, he "didn't want to settle for store-bought matbucha anymore." Luckily, her recipe, which he shares below, is both easy and versatile―you can use it as an appetizer salad served with crackers or pita, as a sandwich spread, or as a condiment for fish, meat, or tofu dishes. It even makes an unconventional, yet delicious topping for a wide range of latke recipes

Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips

You can tailor the heat in this recipe to your preference by tweaking the ingredients. Use bell peppers and sweet paprika for a milder flavor, dial up the heat to medium with hot paprika, or go all out on the spiciness by using a jalapeño along with hot paprika.

Shimoni points out that "the matbocha's spiciness will depend upon the size and strength of the peppers used." Since the heat level of individual peppers on a single plant can vary, it can be hart to predict how spicy they'll make a dish. But don't worry―If your matboucha turns out spicier than you'd like, Shimoni suggests adding a few more cooked tomatoes.

Shimoni's recipe calls for either jalapeño or bell pepper, but you can certainly use both if you'd like!

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.

Updated by Miri Rotkovitz


  • 6 medium ripe tomatoes (cored and chopped into 1-inch pieces)
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 small green jalapeño pepper (seeded and diced OR 2 medium green bell peppers, chopped)
  • 1/3 cup oil (canola or olive)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, and peppers in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan.

  2. Set over medium heat and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently with a spoon.

  3. When the vegetables are nice and soft, add the oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.

  4. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 10 minutes.

  5. When the mixture is well blended and most of the liquid has evaporated, the matbucha is ready.

  6. Cool and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.