After the falafel and shawarma: all about the third pitasnack

Whom good food is an important part of his vacations, races, best to Tel Aviv. That is what culinary journalist Jigal Newspaper loudly proclaims in his new book TLV. In this excerpt, you can read already about his love for sabich, one of the most popular street food of the city.

A restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv. © Getty Images

That you in Israel at every street corner, a pita can let volproppen with falafel and shoarma know almost everyone. However, there is still a third pitasnack, and which is outside the sacred borders virtually unknown. That is some tasty vegetarian meal is called sabich and threatens falafel of the throne as the most popular straatvoedsel.

About statistics, do I not, but you only need to take a look at the intersection of Frishman and Dizengoff, and you know enough. Advantage of a pitaboer two unsightly snack bars, links Falafel Frishman and right Sabich Frishman. To satisfy the acute hunger pangs you have left, because right is always a long queue. The owner is also not counted on that when he years ago to double the adventure began. Otherwise was the sabichboer now is not the schompes to work in a glorified dressing room, while his falafelcollega in the seas of space from his nose to eat.

A man makes sabich in Tel Aviv, Israel © Vincent van den Hoogen


Because everything tastes better if you first fifteen minutes savlanoet (‘patience’) before you need to pay, close behind in the row. Once at the turn, asks the sabichboer you short: hakol? (‘everything?’). If you are there affirmative answers – and that’s what you do, because with hungry Israelites, panting into your neck, go, you don’t sit do – than does a small miracle. The pitaboer cuts with a utility knife a pita to open, then more disappear than you may think possible: fried eggplant, a green sauce, a yellow sauce, a thick gray sauce, thin white sauce, hard-boiled eggs, hüttenkäse, French fries, red onion rings, parsley and a zipper a variety of salads.

Go there but on. So everything sabich is anything but a punishment, but the true purist wants in his sabich only crispy deep-fried eggplant, simple tomato and cucumber salad, egg and four sauces. In addition techina and a lick choemoes that schoeg and amba. Schoeg is a sauce of hot peppers and amba, a kind of spicy mango chutney.


Quite sure it is not, but probably is sabich derived from the Arabic word for ‘morning’. Traditionally, the Iraqi Jews have eaten for breakfast on shabbat. Because it is forbidden to cook the aubergines on Friday, deep fried, and they ate sabich cold, as a salad, so no pita.

After their emigration to Israel settled many Iraqi Jews in Ramat Gan, a city of Tel Aviv is separated by the highway. There developed sabich in the 50s through to the mundane straatvoedsel. The strips of eggplant were now à la minute deep-fried, leaving them on the outside crispy and the inside deliciously tender. Like all the Israeli straatvoedsel ended up the snack in a pita. Especially among the youth, sabich in the past few years gained in popularity. They see the snack as a healthy and hip alternative to shawarma and the falafel, the former daily food of their parents and grandparents.

Large group of people on the floor

As no-one in Japan in his head gets to take home the sushi to start, take no Israeli home cook is ever to sabich. Why would he also. On every street corner is a street stall, where they for no money in a warm pita filling with crispy eggplant, egg, a quartet of salads and a half dozen sauces. Alone with the groceries and the mise-en-place are you a half-day, so trust the Israëlier his sabich gladly to the specialists in their stalls.

Jigal Krant © Vincent van den Hoogen

With us is different, because you after that first unforgettable sabichervaring can’t wait until your next vacation in TLV and there in the Dutch street none other than falafel and shawarma in pita is stopped (any smart entrepreneur will jump there in the gaping, sabichvormige hole in the hospitality market!?). So there was nothing else than itself to work. Sabich is especially a good idea if you have a large group of people on the floor, for example a birthday to celebrate or watch a football game. Activities where everyone is inexplicably always terrible famine, but that the usual table manners stand in the way. All in all, the perfect time to sabich.

With thorough preparation, you at the critical moment, only the eggplant slices in the fat to let it slide and the pita in the toaster to stop. Add up your profits: you miss nothing of the festivities or the game and you will save yourself a lot of dishes. Another advantage: you do not need to take into account all kinds of allergies and dietary requirements, because sabich is kosher, halal, vegetarian, lactose free, notenvrij, pacifist and homeopathic. For vegans, let you simply the hard boiled egg is omitted. There remain, finally, always one or two zeurkousen about with an imaginary gluten intolerance, but that point in favor of the good atmosphere resolutely to the door. Should a true coeliakiepatiënt, delete the pita, arrange all the other ingredients artfully on a plate and call it “deconstructed sabich’.

If you would like to get started? Read here the authentic recipe from TLV for sabich.

© .

This was an excerpt from the book TLV. Recipes and stories from Tel Aviv by the Dutch culinary journalist and radio producer Jigal Newspaper, 20 march. The book is a culinary declaration of love to the bustling melting pot that is Tel Aviv, and contains much more than recipes alone. The beautiful photos are invariably accompanied by spellbinding stories that create a context for the meals that you as soon as possible want to consume it. You will get an insight into the modern Israeli food culture and Krants cheerful way of writing conjures up more than once a smile on your face.

TLV. Recipes and stories from Tel Aviv, Jigal Krant (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 34,99 euro)

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