Food and drink: A favourite of Iraqi Jews…Sabich!
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Food and drink: A favourite of Iraqi Jews…Sabich!

This week's yummy recipe is extracted from Jerusalem Food: Bold Flavors from the Middle East and Beyond by Nidal Kersh,

Sabich

This dish, a favourite of Iraqi Jews, is the perfect egg sandwich.

Traditionally, it is prepared before the Sabbath, and thus, when served, the ingredients are cold and the eggs are hard-boiled. You can also fry the eggs if you like, but then you’d be breaking with tradition.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 aubergine
  • Salt
  • 1 cauliflower head
  • Olive oil for frying

 

For serving 

  • Pitta bread
  • Hummus
  • Tahini sauce
  • Amba

To make Amba: Makes about 1¼ cups 

  • 4 fresh mangoes or 1½ pounds (675g) frozen diced mango
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 red or green chilli pepper
  • ½ cup (100ml) neutral oil, such as sunflower
    oil or peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
  • ½ cup (100ml) distilled vinegar

Method

  • Boil the eggs.
  • Slice the aubergine into ¼ inch (½ cm) rounds and salt them generously. Let the aubergine drain in a colander over a bowl for 10–15 minutes until they begin to release their liquid.
  • In the meantime, break the cauliflower into small florets.
  • After the aubergine has drained, pat it dry with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid.
  • Prepare a frying pan with a decent amount of oil. Fry the aubergine slices on each side until they turn golden brown. Set them aside. Do the same with the cauliflower. Set it aside.
  • To assemble the sandwich, fill a pitta or flat bread with the aubergine, cauliflower, boiled egg, hummus, tahini and amba.

To make Amba:

Extracted from Jerusalem Food: Bold Flavors from the Middle East and Beyond by Nidal Kersh, published by Sterling, priced £25. Available now.
  • If you are using fresh mango, peel and cut the fruit and place it in a bowl. If you are using frozen mango, place the cubes in a bowl. Salt the fruit and let it sit for about one hour.
  • After one hour, chop the chilli pepper. Heat the oil in a saucepan. When the oil is hot, add the chilli pepper, fenugreek, turmeric and mustard seeds. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture is fragrant.
  • Add the mango to the saucepan and stir until the sauce starts to simmer.
  • Pour the vinegar into the pan. Stir to combine and let the mixture simmer. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the sauce cool before serving.

Extracted from Jerusalem Food: Bold Flavors from the Middle East and Beyond by Nidal Kersh, published by Sterling, priced £25. Available now. 

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