Sabich: an Iraqi Jewish Dish in Israel

If you’re looking to kick up your sandwich game, then you’ve gotta try Sabich!

A fresh pita packed full of tender eggplant, egg, hummus, veggies, tahini & more!

So, I’ll admit it. The first time I came to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, I never heard of Sabich. I find that you’ll find dozens of places selling falafel and hummus, but only a handful of places that sell and specialize in Sabich.

When I learned about it, I was immediately interested. Like it’s cousin Falafel, Sabich is vegetarian. For me, as a known vegetarian, but as a veggie lover, I appreciate discovering new vegetarian dishes.

Secondly, Sabich is relatively healthy. I say relatively because the authentic version is made with fried eggplant, not roasted eggplant (like my recipe). So, anything fried, well it’s not rocket science, you’re smart, you get the picture. But, there are ways to customize it according to your taste and dietary restrictions. For example, cut the pita in half and pack it full of mostly veggies and a little less hummus and tahini.

Finally, Sabich is simple. It’s honestly not a lot of work to prepare it especially compared to it’s cousin Falafel, who requires soaking chickpeas, blending the ingredients, rest time for the dough, etc. I mean Sabich is close enough to the Hebrew word Sababah (which means cool) and I think it’s a really cool dish.

So, thanks for reading and if you find yourself in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv and nearby, try Sabich! (Pronounced: “Sah-bee”). I bet you’ll be glad that you did. Meanwhile, here’s the recipe for you to try at home if you’re ever so keen.

Peace, Falafel & Sabich!

Sabich

Recipe by: EE Winkler

Serves 3-4

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 cup of hummus (homemade or store bought –no judgement here 🙂
  • 1/2 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1-2 cups Jerusalem Salad
  • 1/2 cup tahini sauce
  • 1/4 cup pickles
  • 4 fresh pitas
  • Traditional Way? Add Amba and Zhoug (see NOTE 2 🙂

Preparation:

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ 375F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil) and brush with a bit of oil.

Slice the eggplant in 1/4 inch rounds. Then place the eggplant rounds on the baking sheet in a single layer.

Brush the top of the rounds with a bit of oil and sprinkle with salt to taste.

Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, flip over and then continue to bake the eggplant for another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Place the eggplant in a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, gather all of your ingredients and place them on the countertop. (NOTE: think of yourself like your own personal “Sabich Shop.” It’s so much easier when all of the ingredients are out and ready and you don’t have to fumble around your kitchen or fridge hunting for everything.

To prepare the Sabich: take a pita and cut off the very top of the circle, just enough to open the pouch. Alternatively, you can cut it in half if you’re only eating half a pita. Then place a spoonful of hummus, eggplant, egg, onions, Jerusalem Salad, pickles and tahini sauce. Repeat, until your pita if full.

 

NOTE: the order does not matter, at least not to me 🙂

NOTE 2: Traditionally Sabich is made with Amba, a mango chutney & Zhoug, a type of hot sauce. I didn’t make it the traditional way but feel free to make it according to your taste.

Voila! Now, take a big bite & enjoy.

P.s. this is a food coma type of food. You’ve been warned 🙂 I ate it at lunch and had to go back to work. Thank God for strong coffee! Lol!

 

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