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A wild taste from Morocco: Matbucha

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I just got back from a two week trip to Morocco and the day I returned I had to make one of my favorite dishes, matbucha. Matbucha is an appetizer which is pretty much what we would call salsa, but Moroccans call it a salad. Today at the office I ran a taste test just to make sure this was ready to suggest as a wild recipe and the staff gave it two-thumbs up!



Matbucha Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 10 tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 Bell peppers (diced)
  • 1-2 Jalapeños (diced)
  • 1/2 an onion, 1 onion if you love onions. (diced)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic - if you love garlic add two. (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Optional Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp of turmeric
  • 1-2 Tbsp of chili peppers - depends if you want some heat, typically you don't add chili peppers.
  • 1 Tbsp of Ras el hanout - This is a famous mixture of 20-40 spices that local shops sell in Morocco. The name is Arabic for "head of the shop" and implies a mixture of the best spices the seller has to offer. This might be hard to find in the States, but if you can find some you'll enjoy the unique flavor it adds.

Bread: Since you probably aren't going to make your own bread, here are some options to use: pain rustique, ciabatta, pita bread or any fairly plain bread. Although if you have a type of bread you love, then go for it.
Prep Time: 45 Hour
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
Serves: 4-6 people as an appetizer with 2 loaves of bread.

Cooking:
 
 
 
  • Roast the peppers and jalapeños with a little bit of olive oil for 3-5 mins on med-high heat. Just til some start getting a tiny bit roasted.
  • Roast tomatoes for 2-3 mins (I did 5 tomatoes in a pan at a time) medium heat.
  • Roast garlic and onion for 3-5 mins on med-high heat.
  • Pour all into a pot and add your spices and 1/3 cup more olive oil. (Mix well)



  • Simmer on medium heat for 60-70 min until most of the liquid has evaporated; stir well every ten minutes. Give it a taste after 30 min and see if you would like to add anymore spice to it.
  • It is important to toast the bread until it is just a little crispy and serve the bread warm.
Serving: 
This dish is typically served cold or at room temperature, but eating it warm is great too.

Best part about this recipe is it will taste amazing even if you don't get it perfect. I tried several different variations of this dish while traveling in Morocco and they were all delicious. If you really want to show off, serve some green tea with mint leaves and sugar.  To help set the mood and add some style to this fun dish, download some Moroccan music (Arabic or Berber) and play that while cooking and eating your meal.
 
Give this recipe a try and get a taste of Morocco for yourself! 

Keeping it tasty,

Jonathan
Got questions about trips to Morocco? Ask me!
Want more wild recipes? Leave a comment with the country you want a recipe from and we will whip one up! I know we have some great cooks in the office and with a little persuasion I think I could get them to give up their secret recipes.

Comments

  • Guest
    Kurt Kutay Wednesday, 15 May 2013

    Looks similar to the kind of delicious vegetable m...

    Looks similar to the kind of delicious vegetable mezes in Turkey, but then it's all part of Mediterrean cuisine. Thanks for sharing.

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