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!

 

Homemade Apple Sauce (Simple & Delicious)

Just apples, a hint of sugar and a few of my favorite spices and you’re on your way to making homemade apple sauce.

I love applesauce. It was one of those things as I kid that I used to love to have as a snack. It just tasted so good; and honestly, I still love it. For years I never knew that it was so simple to make. I just relied on the store-bought kind until I moved to countries that don’t sell apple sauce. Lol! That’s when I go to my kitchen laboratory and get to work creating.

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The recipe is so simple. I mean, really simple. If you can cook apples and then pop them in a food processor — well, you have apple sauce.

Here’s the recipe:

Homemade Apple Sauce

  • 3 apples (I used Golden Delicious because they are sweet and delicious!)
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cardomom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 c water

Preparation:

Peel, core and slice the apples.

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Place the apples in a large stock pot. Add the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and water.

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Simmer for about 20 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the apples are tender.

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Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom pods.

Transfer the apples to a food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve and Enjoy warm or pop it in the fridge for later. (It is really good cold, especially on a hot summer day! Simply refreshing!) 

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Guten Appetit!

Shepherd’s Salad (Coban Salatasi)

A simple and refreshing salad with lemon juice and olive oil.

Coban” literally means “shepherd” in Turkish. This flavorful salad packed with crisp veggies and a light dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. It is absolutely so simple to make and it is the perfect appetizer or even main course. I think you’re going to love this recipe.

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Here’s the recipe:

Shepherd’s Salad (Coban Salad)

  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 cucumbers (chopped)
  • 1/2 white onion (chopped)
  • 1 c fresh parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (sweet or bell) (chopped)
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Preparation:

Place all of the chopped vegetables in a large bowl.

Drizzle over the olive oil and lemon juice.

Season with salt and pepper.

Stir thoroughly.

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Serve & Enjoy!

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Afiyet Olsun!

Çılbır (Poached Eggs w/ Garlic Yogurt)

Tender eggs poached to perfection in a bed of creamy garlic yogurt and with a drizzle of olive oil and red pepper flakes.

This dish is such a prime example of the beauty of Turkish cooking. It is true that there are some Turkish dishes that are complex and laborious to prepare but this one is quite the contrary. Perhaps some might argue that poaching the eggs is the hardest part but even this step is not as difficult as you think.

Paired with a Turkish chai, this dish is so satisfying and delicious for breakfast or for any time of day.

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Here’s the recipe*

Çılbır (Poached Eggs w/ Garlic Yogurt)

  • 1 fresh large egg
  • 1/8 c thick yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed into a paste)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 T white vinegar
  • salt (to taste)
  • chopped parsley (optional garnish)

Preparation:

Boil a pot of water and then reduce to a barely a simmer. Add the vinegar and stir.

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic (crushed into a paste by sprinkling salt on top of chopped garlic and using the flat part of a knife to rub against the garlic until it forms a paste) and the yogurt. Season with salt & stir. Place the yogurt on a plate.

To poach the egg: crack the egg in a measuring cup with a handle. Lower the measuring cup into the water and gently drop in the egg. Allow it to cook for 2-4 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.

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This is how the egg looks when it is first dropped into the water.
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After a few minutes of cooking it will start to rise to the surface.

Gently pat the poached egg dry and then place on top of the garlic yogurt. Drizzle over the olive oil and red pepper flakes. Garnish with parsley.

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Serve & Enjoy!

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Afiyet Olsun!

*Note: this recipe is for one. For more servings, multiply it accordingly.

Strawberry Sorbet (Made from Scratch)

A refreshing, healthy & cool treat — this strawberry sorbet recipe is so simple and so good. Just a few simple ingredients!

As a kid, we not only went for ice cream but also we went out for frozen yogurt and sorbet. It was always an experience that I loved especially for the fact that I love soft serve frozen desserts.

This strawberry sorbet recipe is a throwback to my childhood because it is smooth and delicious just like I remembered eating the soft serve sorbet as a kid. Plus, it is so simple to make and it can be made using a plethora of different fruits.

 

 

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It is all natural and healthy because it is pretty much entirely just fruit. Plus, you can customize it to your desired sweetness using sugar, agave or another sweetener.

Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Sorbet (Made from Scratch)

  • 2 c frozen strawberries
  • 1-2 T hot water
  • 1 T sugar (or honey, agave or sugar substitute)
  • 1 T lime juice

Preparation:

Place the strawberries in a food processor.

Add the hot water, sugar and lime juice.

Blend until smooth.

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Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap or an air tight lid and place in the freezer.

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Guten Appetit!

 

 

Menemen: Turkish Egg Scramble with Tomatoes, Onions & Peppers

Fluffy scrambled eggs cooked with tender tomatoes, onions, peppers and Turkish spices; A hearty and delicious breakfast meal.

     The first time I tried Menemen was at Turkish breakfast one day at a restaurant. I love egg dishes so I have tasted and cooked my fair share of eggs. Although this dish is so simple, it is also so tasty and packed full of flavor. It will easily become a favorite on your recipe list.

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Here’s the recipe:

Menemen: Turkish Egg Scramble with Tomatoes, Onions & Peppers

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c white onion (diced)
  • 1/4 c sweet green pepper  (diced)
  • 1/2 c tomato (diced)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • salt (to taste)

Preparation:

Dice the onions, peppers and tomatoes.

Place the onions and peppers in a frying pan and sauté them until they are tender.

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Then add the tomatoes, oregano, paprika and salt. Stir and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble them together with a fork or whisk.

Pour the eggs on top of the sautéed vegetables and return to the stove*.

 

Scramble everything together until the eggs are cooked through but still tender.

Serve & Enjoy!

Afiyet Olsun!

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*Note: if you are preparing this dish in a Traditional Turkish copper pan, add a little oil to the pan, then add the sautéed vegetables and the eggs. Scramble everything together on the stove & serve in the pan it was cooked in.

 

Fresh & Simple Guacamole

Oh guacamole, you taste so good. With fresh ripe avocados and a pico de gallo it’s the perfect balance to make this dish taste delicious like it should.

Although I am definitely a big fan of eating guacamole with some pita chips or tortilla chips, there are truly a plethora more ways to enjoy it. I love it with grilled fish or chicken. It also tastes great with baked potatoes or even french fries. Of course, with beans and rice, guacamole balances out the meal perfectly. This list can go on and on because guacamole tastes good with so many different things.

Here’s my recipe:

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Fresh & Simple Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 c pico de gallo (see the recipe here)
  • 2 T lime juice
  • salt & pepper (to taste)

Preparation:

Place the avocado in a bowl and mash to your desired consistency (I like my guacamole a bit chunky).

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Add the lime juice and pico de gallo and continue to mash.

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Season with salt & pepper and stir well.

Serve & Enjoy!