I grew up with the idea of Shabbat cereal. It was the one day a week we could eat artificially coloured and flavoured, sugar packed snack disguised as a breakfast food. But what did Shabbat observant Jews who do not cook on Shabbat do before mass-produced cereal? Sabich was the Iraqi Jewish Shabbat morning dish. When Iraqi Jews came to Israel in the 1940’s and 50’s, they brought with them their unique Shabbat morning dish, which quickly became a staple as a street food in Israel.
Eating sabich is entering a very happy place – of a make it yourself plate of yummy morsels, that individually are already pretty good, but in combination make your taste buds sing!
Sadly I can’t eat anything spicy, with that in mind I created recipes for amba and schug that can be adjusted according to your own heat-tolerance level.
FOR THE PLATTER
- 2 aubergines / eggplants
- Vegetable or groundnut oil, for frying
- 250 g new (salad) potatoes
- 6 small soft pita
- 5 eggs
- 4 cups Rocket (arugula) washed and checked, and dried
- Israeli salad click here for link
- Amba click here for link
- Schug click here for link
Peel the aubergines to create a zebra type pattern on the skin, cut the peeled aubergine into 1cm thick slices, and set aside while you heat the oil.
In a heavy bottom pan, add enough oil to come up about 2cm in depth, once very hot drop in the aubergine slices, not crowding the pan, fry on one side about four minutes until golden brown, flip over and brown on the second side.
Using a slotted spoon removed aubergine from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel before sprinkling with salt. Set aside while you make the rest of the elements.
For the potatoes: If the potatoes are large, cut them in half or even quarters, add the potatoes to a large pot, cover with cold water and season liberally with salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil and boil until they are cooked through, but not too soft, about 15-20 minutes. Drain, cool a bit and slice.
Cook the eggs by covering them with cold water. As soon as they start to boil, time them for 5-6 minutes (small-large), then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Peel and cut in half or slice.
To assemble the platter:
Warm the pittas, and cut into quarters, I like using a large tin, but a large flat plate would work as well. Place each of the elements, fried aubergine, boiled potatoes, peeled hard boiled eggs, rocket, directly on the platter, then in smaller bowls place the Israeli salad, amba, and schug.