A simple dish deeply rooted in family traditions



“There aren’t many ways of maintaining your heritage. You can use language and you can use food.” These beautiful words are courtesy of Bar, whose recipe is featured in one of my latest series. In this series, I’ve been looking for ways that people from around the world use zucchini. For Bar, zucchini is synonymous with an old family dish called Anginara.

Anginara, or zucchini and tomato stew, is a very classic recipe for Sephardic Jews, especially those living in the Balkan diaspora. Although Bar grew up in Tel Aviv, Israel, she learned about this dish from her grandparents who migrated from Bulgaria years ago. Bar’s family has been making Anginara for generations and both of her grandmothers frequently served it to Bar. Unfortunately as a kid, Bar was not a fan of Anginara, but she’s grown to love it as an adult. Now, it’s a dish she enjoys making as a way to honor her ancestors and celebrate her culture. 

If you’re looking to experience a taste of Sephardic Jewish cuisine, then Anginara is a wonderful introduction. This dish is incredibly simple with minimal ingredients, minimal steps, and a very approachable flavor profile. It only requires zucchini, tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, and lemon juice. Like I said – incredibly minimal ingredients here. The tricky part is properly preparing the zucchini. Bar explained that the zucchini should be sliced in half lengthwise and then hollowed out so that all of the seeds are removed. The hollow zucchini are then cut into small pieces on a diagonal.

Once the zucchini is prepped, add the tomato paste, garlic, and some grated tomatoes to a pan and saute until everything is a little reduced. Then, add the zucchini and continue until everything is perfectly tender. The cool thing is, you can serve the finished Anginara cold or warm over a bowl of rice. Both options get Bar’s stamp of approval.

After tasting it for myself, I agree that Anginara is a simple dish, but it’s one that still feels polished and composed. Anginara is a comforting recipe that lets both its ingredients and heritage shine.

Watch the Video


  • 1 kg small-medium sized zucchini
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • cooked rice for serving


  • Peel zucchinis and slice in half lengthwise. Hollow out the seeds in the middle and discard.
  • Cut zucchini into pieces about 3' cm long. Set aside.
  • Grate the tomatoes into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Sauté the garlic in vegetable oil for 3 minutes.
  • Add the grated tomatoes to the pot, then the tomato paste and cook until the mixture bubbles.
  • Add the zucchini peel pieces, salt and black pepper. Stir and cover with a lid.
  • Cook on high heat for around 5 minutes, reduce to low and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a little boiling water if needed.
  • Once cooked, remove from the stove and add lemon juice.
  • Allow the cooked dish to cool and serve at room temperature with hot white rice.
Course: Dinner
Region: Europe
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


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