Sabich was a popular Shabbat food for Iraqi Jews, and when they immigrated to Israel and set up a community in Ramat Gan, the sandwich came with them. It has since gained widespread popularity.
There is something about the creaminess of the egg and the fried goodness of the eggplant that work really well together, and then the garnishes of Israeli salad (tomatoes, cucumbers with a bit of lemon juice), hummus, onions, pickles, parsley, and amba (pickled mango) give your mouth the full workout of sweet, spicy, sour, herbacious, smooth and crispy.
If you can’t find amba, mix together diced fresh mango with minced preserved lemon and a Sriracha-type hot sauce to taste.
Vegetarian; vegan if you omit the egg. Gluten-free if you omit the pita and serve as a salad.
Makes 4 sandwiches
2 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 English cucumber, finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4” or so thick
Vegetable oil for pan-frying
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled and sliced
Hummus (store bought or your own)
Prepared tahini (store bought or your own)
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 small white onion minced
1/2-cup pickle, cut into small slices or cubes
Amba or hot sauce of your choice
4 pieces pita bread
Make a simple salad with the tomatoes, cucumber, and lemon juice, with salt to taste.
Fry the eggplant in batches until thoroughly tender and browned; drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
While the eggplant is frying, put the eggs, tahini, parsley, onion, pickle, and amba in bowls.
Toast or grill the pita bread. Let everyone build a sandwich with as much or as little of each ingredient as they please.