Aubergine / eggplant Zaalouk – Moroccan cuisine.


Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves: 4 - 6 people

Aubergine or eggplant caviars are very popular in the Middle East, North Africa and some European countries. Among the most popular Baba Ghanoush and moutabel from the Levant, Greece and Cyprus “melitzanosalata”, “ajvar” from the Balkans and “zaalouk” the Moroccan version prepared with aubergine / eggplant, tomatoes and Chermoula spices: garlic, cumin, paprika, parsley, coriander and lots of olive oil.

Cooked salads are an integral part of Moroccan cuisine, you will rarely see a main dish served on its own. Aubergine / eggplant zaalouk is the most popular (at least for me) to accompany certain dishes such as grilled meats or tagines. The most popular is based on eggplant, but there are several versions: “Cauliflower Zaalouk” or even “Carrot Zaalouk”.

There are several ways to make this recipe, it often differs from one region to another or from one family to another, some people add roasted and diced red peppers. But the main difference lies in the cooking of the aubergine / eggplant: fried, roasted, grilled to get the smoked flavour, I showed you how to make it HERE “ smoked aubergine / eggplant Moroccan zaalouk “, boiled or simply cut into pieces with or without skin and added to the rest of the ingredients. The latter is the simplest and above all the quickest.

Zaalouk is perfect on a mezze table, served with Moroccan bread (or pita bread) and why not with slices of pan-fried halloumi cheese. I tried it and it was delicious.

Zaalouk is served at room temperature or cold. It can therefore easily be prepared in advance, as you can also prepare a large quantity, divide it into individual portions and freeze them.

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Aubergine / eggplant Zaalouk - Moroccan cuisine.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves: 4 - 6 people

Ingredients :

  • 2 aubergines / eggplants , around 700g
  • 2 tomatoes, 400g
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, Peeled and finely grated or crushed
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp flat - leaf parsley , leaves finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh coriander , finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 extra Tbsp to serve
  • Salt and black pepper

Method :

Prepare the veggies :

  • 1)

    Remove the ends then peel the previously washed aubergines / eggplants in a stripe pattern, i.e. every other strip lengthwise, then cut them into one centimeter cubes. You can keep the skin or you can remove it entirely, it’s up to your preference.

    Then peel and seed the tomatoes and cut them into small cubes or simply grate them coarsely.

Time to cook Zaalouk :

  • 1)

    In a frying pan with a lid, I used “the 24cm diameter casserole dish from Le Creuset brand ” for this quantity. On medium high heat, put 2 tablespoons of olive oil, diced aubergine / eggplant, diced or grated tomatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon of paprika, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also add harissa according to your taste.

    Stir to mix all the ingredients add 30 ml of hot water about 2 tablespoons no more since aubergines / eggplants and tomatoes contain a lot of water, I add these two tablespoons only and just to help have a sauce in which the vegetables will cook. Sauté over a high-medium heat for around ten minutes before lowering the heat to medium-low, cover your casserole or pan and cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

    Remove the lid and using a potato masher, mash the aubergines / eggplants; do not completely mash them you want to keep some texture in your zaalouk.

    Stir with a wooden spoon and cook uncovered for 20 – 30 minutes. It’s very important to evaporate all liquids.

    Once you stir and notice that the mixture is thick and there is no water left, add the herbs, cumin and the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to incorporate all these ingredients.


Serve :

  • 1)

    Serve the aubergine / eggplant zaalouk in a dish with a drizzle of olive oil with bread.

    Enjoy !!



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