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The Sabich
April 23, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

The Sabich is a popular Israeli pita sandwich based on the traditional Babylonian-Jewish Shabbat morning meal. It it is usually seasoned with Amba, the mango pickle condiment of Indian Origin which the Baghdadi Jewish community of India brought to Baghdad (along with Sambusak, a variant of the Simosa).

Professor Sasson Somekh reflects on his childhood in Baghdad and discusses amba, among other things.
posted by beisny (15 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks, now I am even hungrier.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 12:52 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nice!
I often get a version of the Iraqi sandwich at Aroma in Toronto, where they call it a "Mediterranean Sandwich", with hard-boiled eggs, eggplant, tahini, tomato, and pickle.
posted by pravit at 1:06 PM on April 23, 2011


Hah! When I was four, I was right! I'm going to call my brother and yell "Sabich! Is Too!"
posted by cross_impact at 1:11 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I often get a version of the Iraqi sandwich at Aroma in Toronto, where they call it a "Mediterranean Sandwich"

Unbelievable! Aroma is good though. Their North American branches have a totally different vibe from the Israeli ones and are actually more pleasant to hang out in.

And btw, it's even better with the authentic brown eggs.
posted by beisny at 1:13 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sabich is my favorite sandwich at the restaurant named Amba in Oakland. Which is closed on Saturdays.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:18 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Amba is essential on falafel too, but eat it regularly and you will smell of Amba even when you don't consume it.
posted by cell divide at 2:22 PM on April 23, 2011


Wait, the first link is sharing the best of the web.

This is the best of the web?

But seriously, it's a great looking sandwich.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:41 PM on April 23, 2011


Amba is really good on shwarma too. It's hard to find over here.
posted by electroboy at 5:56 PM on April 23, 2011


I love amba. It's the sourness and bitterness and sometimes the little pieces of mango. I usually have it as a condiment, but when I really crave it I pour it on plain white rice and consume it guiltily, because everyone else thinks I'm weird for liking it so much.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:01 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Argh, if I'm right in the middle of the US, which direction should I head to find one of these sandwiches?
posted by fritley at 8:48 PM on April 23, 2011


fritley: "Argh, if I'm right in the middle of the US, which direction should I head to find one of these sandwiches"

You may be in luck by just seeking out the local Jewish community and seeing if anybody knows about the sabich!

From a site on Iraqi Jews in the US:

"Apart form California and New York; the largest concentration of Babylonian Jews in the United States is in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Smaller known groups of Iraqi Jews, but each is too small to run its own synagogue, can also be found in Arizona, Atlanta, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other States."
posted by autoclavicle at 12:02 AM on April 25, 2011


I heard about amba a while ago and have obsessed about tasting it ever since. Now I have to make this sandwich, too. The problem is I have to make all the things that go into the sandwich myself, including the pita and the amba, as I live in Bumfuck, AK. Don't you know you are killing me?! Seriously, the photo from Saveur mag almost brought me to orgasm.

Tell me, people who know, is amba sweet? Salty? super sour? Really hot and spicy? I gotta know.
posted by Foam Pants at 2:26 PM on April 25, 2011


is amba sweet? Salty? super sour? Really hot and spicy?

Yes. Although not especially hot. Kinda similar to mango pickle/chutney you can get at Indian grocery stores. This place has amba, but it's kind of expensive.
posted by electroboy at 2:48 PM on April 25, 2011


Amba's made with green mango, so it's not sweet. You have the sourness of the fruit plus the sourness of the vinegar, balanced by the bitterness of of fenugreek and turmeric, heat from mustard and perhaps chili, and salt.

And for your viewing pleasure, here's an Israeli pop song called "rikudei amba" ("amba dance").
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:10 AM on April 26, 2011


We've got a cart in Portland that makes sabich. They are light on the amba (it's more a contrasting color than a flavor), but generous with the zhug.

I need to eat there this week.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 10:15 AM on April 26, 2011


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