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RECIPE

Matbucha tomato and chilli dip Israeli

Make the most of summer tomatoes with this punchy Middle Eastern dip

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Summer is peak tomato season — they are full of flavour. Go to your greengrocer and have a little nose — the most fragrant ones are the best. And then use them to make matbucha, which is a slow- cooked tomato and chilli mezze dish. It’s a Friday night must. The long, slow cook reduces all of the water and maximises the flavours. You end up with a harmony of flavours — perfectly balanced sweetness, sourness and spice. My recipe is quite mild – pep it up with extra chillies if you prefer.

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Method
  • First peel your tomatoes: to do this you need to heat them up a large pot with plenty of water. Score the tomatoes on the bottom. Have a bowl of iced water ready. Place tomatoes into boiling water for about 3 minutes, until they start peeling. Remove immediately to cold water. Peel, discard the skins, then chop into chunks.
  • Place the oil in a large cooking pot — big enough to hold all the ingredients — and add the chilli and garlic. Stir continuously over medium heat, until the garlic softens. Don’t let it brown, as it will get bitter.
  • Add the peeled, chopped tomatoes, spices, sugar and seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.
  • Continue cooking over low-medium heat for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent catching.
  • Taste and correct seasoning. Serve with fresh challah.
Ingredients

1.5kg tomatoes (about 25 big, fleshy, ripe tomatoes)



150ml oil



50g garlic (5-6 large cloves, finely chopped)



1-2 green chillies (more if you like it spicy) thinly sliced



1 tbsp paprika



1 tbsp salt



1 tbsp sugar



½ tbsp cracked black pepper


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