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Shared by Nir Sarig


Yield: 3.5 cupsTime: 3 ½ hours


Yield: 3.5 cupsTime: 3 ½ hours

Family Journey

Sefrou, MoroccoHaifa
New York City


  • 3 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 ½ red bell peppers
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¼ - ½ cup neutral oil (canola or sunflower)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon hot paprika (optional)
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided

Optional garnish

  • 3 jalapenos 
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Step 1

    Bring a large pot of water to boil. Using a paring knife, carefully score a shallow X shape on the bottom of each tomato. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

  • Step 2

    Once the water is boiling, work in batches to poach the tomatoes for 60-90 seconds, or until the skin splits up the sides. Transfer to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

  • Step 3

    When cooled, use your hands or a paring knife to peel the tomatoes  and discard the skins and core. Slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze the juice and seeds into a bowl and discard. Roughly chop the tomatoes and set aside.

  • Step 4

    Roast the bell peppers over a flame until they are entirely charred. Transfer them to a bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, use your hands or a paring knife to peel off the charred skin and remove the seeds. Dice the peppers.

  • Step 6

    Add the tomatoes, peppers, garlic cloves, and oil to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  • Step 7

    After the mixture softens into a sauce-like consistency, add the paprika(s) and 1 ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Continue to slowly simmer the matbucha until it reduces to about half the volume, and it becomes a jammy texture, about 1 hour and 15 to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

  • Step 8

    Cool slightly, then taste and adjust salt if needed. Serve with fresh challah.

Optional garnish: Roast the jalapenos on an open flame and peel the skins off, in the same way as the bell peppers. Then seed and slice into ⅛ -inch slices and submerge in olive oil with grated garlic and salt. This is a perfect add on to the matbucha if you want to have a spicy option on the table