Sabich, one of the most popular local sandwich combos, is actually the name of a gentleman of Iraqi origin who owned a small kiosk in the town of Ramat-Gan. Sabich did not invent anything. All he did was combine some of the foods enjoyed by Iraqi Jews following Saturday morning services at synagogue, stuff it all into a pita, and offer it to the general public. Today, sabich is served even in classy cafés, where focaccia or sourdough bread replace the pita but the filling remains the same.
Thin eggplant slices, salted, drained and washed
Oil for deep-frying
Hard-boiled eggs, sliced (preferably brown)
Amba (Iraqi mango chutney)
Hummus spread or tahini dip
Deep-fry the eggplant slices until dark brown. Remove from the oil, drain, and thoroughly soak up the excess oil with paper towel.
Spread tahini or hummus on the inside of a pita, stuff with fried eggplant slices and sliced hard-boiled egg, drip some amba on top and enjoy!
Recommended extras: Finely diced vegetable salad, tomato wedges, diced pickled cucumbers, onion slices, chopped parsley, slices of boiled potatoes.
Amba Bright yellow - hot and aromatic, Iraqi amba may be hard to find outside of Israel. It can be substituted by harissa or another hot condiment. Indian mango chutney is an option, as long as it is spicy.
Brown Eggs - You can use plain hard-boiled eggs, but the real sabich requires this nutty tasting, mahogany-colored Iraqi specialty. Preparation is easy: line a wide pot with a thick layer of onion skins (you’ll need plenty — the greengrocer should give them to you for nothing), hang a couple of tea bags inside the pot, arrange the eggs on the onion skins, pour hot water to cover, season with salt and pepper, and cook uncovered for an hour. Use an old pot because the skins and the tea will color the metal.
photo: Eilon Paz ("Fresh Flavors From Israel")