Once upon a time there was a man named Sabich Svi Halabi. This man fled Iraq one day with his family to Israel. There, in the early 1960s, he bought an elderly couple's small food stall in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, and created a sandwich from the ingredients he loved. What became of it is legendary!
Along with falafel, sabich has become one of the most popular sandwiches in Israel. This is absolutely no wonder when you look at the list of components. Fried aubergine, boiled eggs, hummus, tahini sauce, tomato & cucumber and finally a mango sauce called amba. The whole thing is then usually stuffed into a pita pocket and goes "on the go". Super simple and yet an incredible taste explosion that also fills you up. The perfect breakfast.
One name - one legend
You have probably already noticed that the sandwich bears the name of the inventor. It was a development that his family describes beautifully: First, people would come up to the stall and say, "Hey Sabich, make me one." And then at some point it was just "Hey, a Sabich please". Halabi did try to register the name as a trademark in the early 1990s, but unfortunately forgot to pay the fee. Later, it became impossible for him to do this registration against the now very many Sabich stands. If you want to know more about Sabich Svi Halabi and its history, I highly recommend this article.
Perfect breakfast at the weekend
Since it is unfortunately still very rare to find Sabich in the wild at permanent street food stalls or restaurants in this country, you have to conjure up the delicious wrap yourself. For me, it's the perfect weekend breakfast. Personally, I always have fresh hummus on hand. Tahini sauce is super quick to mix and the aubergine is fried in no time anyway. What's missing? Oh yes, there was another sauce... You can think of amba as a kind of chutney. In the original, amba is made from fermented mangoes. I decided to use the turbo version for my recipe: simply put all the ingredients in the blender and the super delicious sauce is ready. Amba tastes fresh and fruity-sweet on the one hand, but then also slightly hot and spicy and has a decent hint of garlic. Together with the tahini sauce and the other components, Amba is a real revelation!
And when you have friends over who have never eaten sabich before, you'll be inundated with compliments. So buy enough aubergine - the desire for a second helping is sure to come 😉
Recipe for Sabich
- For Amba, peel the mango and cut the flesh from the core.
- Roast the fenugreek and mustard seeds briefly in a pan without oil.
- Squeeze the lemon.
- Peel the garlic.
- Put all the ingredients for Amba in a blender and puree properly and then put it in a sealable jar. Amba can be kept in the fridge for about 5 days.
For the Sabich
- Cut the aubergine into finger-thick slices, lay them out on kitchen paper and salt them. After 10 minutes, dab the water off the slices.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry the aubergines on both sides until golden brown. Then place the fried aubergine on kitchen paper.
- Boil the eggs for approx. 7 minutes (longer if desired), rinse and peel.
- Cut the tomato and cucumber into cubes. Pluck the parsley.
- Spread the hummus on the pita bread and top with aubergine, tomato and cucumber.
- Spread the tahini sauce, amba and parsley over the top.
- Either roll the bread or simply fold it in.