Make this matbucha, then check out our chargrilled baby aubergines meze, marinated steak with labneh, pul biber butter and crispy onions and more Middle Eastern-inspired recipes.

This recipe comes from The Palomar, a Soho-based restaurant offering a modern take on Israeli food. It offers a vibrant combination of sharing plates and cocktails.

The term small but mighty applies perfectly to The Palomar. The greeting is warm, the music lively, the cocktails potent and the wait to be seated at the counter a long one if you haven’t booked ahead. And wait you should, as eating at the bar is where the party’s at. Highlights of head chef Omri McNabb’s Israeli small-plates sharing menu include the spiced lamb cutlets featured over the page, as well as grilled broccoli and a mezcal sour cocktail. For a quieter evening, take a seat at one of a handful of cosy tables in the back.


  • 1kg tomatoes
  • 500g red peppers, deseeded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g garlic
  • 3 Carliston chilli peppers (or any green Middle Eastern or Turkish pepper), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Moroccan-style sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp aleppo pepper flakes
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp caster sugar


  • STEP 1

    Score the tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 1-2 mins – you’ll need to do this in batches. Peel, halve and scoop out the seeds. Char the red peppers on an open flame or under a hot grill until the skins have softened and are dark. Peel, halve and remove the seeds. Blend the tomatoes and peppers together to a chunky consistency.

  • STEP 2

    Put a paella pan or something similarly wide over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Gently fry the garlic and chillies for 1-2 mins or until soft. Add the paprika and aleppo pepper flakes, and cook for another 3 mins until fragrant.

  • STEP 3

    Add the tinned tomatoes and the tomato and red pepper mixture. Bring to a boil then lower the temperature, simmering gently. Cook for 30 mins until all the liquid has reduced – this will take longer if you don’t use a wide pan. Allow to fully cool and then refrigerate. When ready to serve, spread the matbucha onto a plate and drizzle with olive oil.

Goes well with


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