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Matbucha (Moroccan Slow-Cooked Tomato salad)

An addictive Moroccan spicy tomato and garlic mezze to make for a dinner party with other mezzes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Vegan
Servings: 8 as a mezze
Author: Shelly


  • 2 large cans of whole plum tomatoes - diced is okay but not crushed or 2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled
  • 8 medium size garlic cloves - peeled
  • 2 green hot chili peppers - for mild spiciness add only 1
  • 1 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ cup olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt


  • Put the oil, paprika and turmeric in a measuring cup or jar and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • Drain the tomatoes and put them in a heavy bottom pot (If you’re using fresh tomatoes, peel them then cut them in half and squeeze out their juice, before you put them in the pot). Add the garlic and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook until all the liquid evaporates, about 20 - 30 minute, stirring occasionally. Press the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to squeeze out their juice.
  • Meanwhile burn the peppers on the burner over high heat, flipping them occasionally to make sure that their skin is burned. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then peel their skin and discard. You should wear latex gloves when you handle the spicy peppers (you can get burns from the seeds). Trim the tops and discard. Cut the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds (don’t rinse the peppers in water, you can wipe the inside with a paper towel). Cut the peppers into strips and add to the tomatoes.
  • Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes every now and then. When most of the liquid is gone, lower the heat to low and continue to mash every now and then.
  • When all the liquid is gone pour the oil mixture in. Add sugar and salt, and mix. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the tomatoes from scorching. Cook until the texture resembles a jam. Taste and add salt if necessary.