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Moroccan Matbucha - A Taste of North Africa in Your Kitchen

Discover the authentic flavors of Moroccan Matbucha. Dive into this tangy and spicy tomato-based treat, a perfect appetizer or side dish for any occasion.

August 18, 2023
vegetarian food iconvegan food icon
Moroccan MatbuchaPhoto By Canva
Difficulty Easy
Servings 4 people
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 45 mins
Total 60 mins



  1. Preheat your oven to 450 °F (230 °C). Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet and roast them until their skin is charred and blistered. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Once roasted, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let them steam for about 10 minutes. This makes peeling easier. Peel off the skin, remove the seeds and chop finely.
  2. In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for about a minute until it releases its aroma but is not browned.
  3. Add the finely chopped tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, and chili peppers to the skillet. Mix well.
  4. Stir in the paprika, cumin, salt, and sugar. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The goal is to reduce the moisture and achieve a thick, salsa-like consistency.
  5. Once the matbucha has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the freshly chopped cilantro.
  6. Allow it to cool to room temperature. You can then transfer it to a serving bowl or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 Moroccan Matbucha
Serves 4
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3 g3.8%
Protein 1.5 g3%
Sodium 8 mg0.3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


  • Roasting Technique: For a deeper flavor, consider charring the tomatoes alongside the bell peppers before incorporating them into the dish.
  • Chili Choices: Depending on your heat tolerance, you can adjust the type and quantity of chili peppers. For a milder taste, deseed the chili peppers before adding them.
  • Oil Options: While olive oil is traditional and adds a rich flavor, you can experiment with other oils like grapeseed or avocado for a different twist.
  • Herb Variations: While cilantro is the standard herb used in matbucha, feel free to sprinkle some chopped mint or parsley for additional layers of flavor.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve matbucha cold or at room temperature. It pairs perfectly with crusty bread or pita.
  • Storage: Store matbucha in an airtight container in the fridge. It tends to taste even better the next day after the flavors meld together.
  • Vegan-Friendly: This dish is naturally vegan. However, always ensure that all your ingredients are processed in vegan-friendly environments if serving to strict vegans.
  • Texture Tips: If you prefer your matbucha to have a smoother texture, give it a quick blend before serving. If you like it chunkier, simply chop your ingredients into larger pieces.
  • Sugar Substitute: If you're watching your sugar intake, consider substituting sugar with natural sweeteners like agave nectar or stevia, adjusting to taste.
  • For an added smoky flavor, you can roast the tomatoes before adding them to the dish.
  • Matbucha's flavor deepens with time, making it even more delicious the next day!
  • If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend the mixture slightly using a hand blender.
Rate This Recipe

The culinary world of Morocco is a treasure trove of unique flavors, aromatic spices, and rich traditions. One such gem is Moroccan Matbucha, a tangy and spicy tomato-based appetizer that captures the essence of North African cuisine. Often served as an appetizer or a side with bread, this dish is a festival of flavors for the palate, offering a delightful play between the sweetness of tomatoes, the heat of chili peppers, and the depth of roasted bell peppers. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply seeking a new culinary adventure, this recipe promises to transport you straight to a Moroccan market square!

The Origin and Evolution of Matbucha

Matbucha, often termed as the "Moroccan Salsa", has roots that delve deep into the culinary traditions of North Africa. This beloved dish showcases the rich confluence of flavors and techniques inherited from both Moorish Spain and indigenous Berber cooking. With tomatoes and peppers being central to its identity, matbucha encapsulates the essence of Moroccan cuisine — a delicate balance between sweet, spicy, and tangy elements.

From Traditional Base to Modern Variations

With the popularity of matbucha soaring beyond Moroccan borders, numerous variations of this sumptuous spread have emerged. One such beloved variant is the matbucha eggplant, which seamlessly incorporates grilled or smoked eggplants into the traditional matbucha mix. This blend not only adds a smoky flavor but also enhances the dish's texture. Additionally, there's the matbucha salad — a lighter version of the classic, often adorned with additional herbs and served as a cold appetizer or side dish. While many recipes claim authenticity, the authentic matbucha recipe primarily relies on tomatoes and bell peppers, simmered to perfection with spices, giving it its signature concentrated flavor.

Homemade Magic

The magic of matbucha, like many traditional dishes, shines brightest when made at home. A homemade matbucha recipe allows for personal touches, adapting the heat, sweetness, or even the consistency as per individual preferences. Moreover, making it at home ensures fresh, quality ingredients, thereby elevating the taste. As with many age-old recipes, the key lies in the slow-cooking process, allowing flavors to meld and resulting in a rich, velvety spread that's truly irresistible. Whether it's the traditional version or a modern twist, matbucha remains a testament to Moroccan culinary genius, offering a taste journey like no other.

How Do You Eat Matbucha?

Matbucha is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways, often serving as an appetizer, dip, or accompaniment. Here's how you can relish this Moroccan delicacy:

Dip with Bread: One of the most traditional ways to enjoy matbucha is with bread. Tear off a piece of fresh Moroccan bread or pita, dip it into the matbucha, and savor the flavors.

Accompaniment to Main Dishes: Serve matbucha alongside grilled meats, fish, or poultry. The spicy and tangy flavors of the dish complement the grilled taste beautifully.

Topping for Sandwiches and Wraps: Use matbucha as a spread for sandwiches, wraps, or even burgers for an added kick of flavor.

Ingredient in Dishes: Stir it into couscous, rice, or other grain dishes to enhance the flavor profile. It can also be mixed with scrambled eggs or folded into omelets.

Side Salad: Given its texture and taste, matbucha can also be served as a side salad along with other Moroccan salads or appetizers.

With Chips or Crackers: For a modern twist, you can use matbucha as a dip for tortilla chips, crisps, or crackers, much like you would with salsa.

Addition to Breakfast: In some Middle Eastern households, matbucha is served as part of a breakfast spread, accompanying other dishes like hummus, labneh, and olives.

With Roasted Vegetables: Drizzle some matbucha over roasted or grilled vegetables for an extra punch of flavor.

Remember, the dish's versatility allows for experimentation, so don't hesitate to get creative and find your favorite way to enjoy matbucha!

How Do You Pronounce Matbucha?

Matbucha is pronounced as "mat-BOO-khah", with the "kh" sound being similar to the guttural "ch" in the German word "Bach" or the Scottish "loch." The emphasis is on the second syllable, "BOO."

Recipe byPetite Gourmets

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