top of page
  • Writer's pictureKonky's Creative Kitchen

Zaalouk (Eggplant Dip)

Updated: 3 days ago

There is no denying this: you haven't lived until you have experienced dishes from Africa, the Middle East, and their surrounding countries. The eclectic flavor combinations and fresh ingredients can bring some amazement and excitement to the table! One of my most favorite dishes comes from Morocco, called Zaalouk. This dish can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. It can be made with bell peppers if you want. You can serve this completely mashed, or with texture.


This dish uses fresh ingredients, and a small amount of spices that need to bloom in the pan, and can easily be adapted if you do not own a grill. This is traditionally served as a dip or salad, however, you can enjoy this as a spreadable for a sandwich, dip fresh bread into it, enjoy it with crackers, or enjoy this on rice. No matter what, this healthy and delicious dish has a lot of love in it.


The video for this recipe is on my YouTube channel.


eggplant that has been grilled and cooled off
Roasted eggplant

INGREDIENTS:

2lb/906g Eggplant, roasted and cooled 16oz/453g Tomatoes, fresh or stewed

8oz Onions, sliced

8oz/227g Tomato puree (or juice from stewed tomatoes) 2oz-3oz/57g-85g Garlic, minced 1 Lemon, halved, grilled and cooled 1/2 TB Kosher salt 1/2 TB Black pepper

1/2 TB Cumin seeds 1 tsp Coriander powder 1/2 tsp Paprika 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Cilantro, finely chopped, to taste


NOTE: You do not need a grill to make this. The broiler function of your oven will work just fine.


Oven method - EGGPLANT: Set to 450°F/240°C - line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Score the eggplant with a knife, just piercing through the skin. Rub each eggplant with olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Place the tray of eggplant in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and rotate the eggplant. Reset the timer for another 10 minutes, or until the flesh softens. It is OK if it is slightly undercooked as this is going to be cooked in a pan later. Transfer cooked eggplant to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool down completely and begin removing the skin. You can either pull strips of flesh or you can rough-chop the flesh.


OPTIONAL: Lemon can be seared in a small pan on medium-high heat. Give the lemon some light charring.


Grill method - EGGPLANT On a medium-high flame, warm up your grill. Score the eggplant with olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper. Begin slightly charring on all sides. This can take approximately 10-20 minutes. It is OK if it is slightly undercooked as this is going to be cooked in a pan later. Transfer cooked eggplant to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool down completely and begin removing the skin. You can either pull strips of flesh or you can rough-chop the flesh.

OPTIONAL: Lemon can also go on the grill with the eggplant. This will take roughly five minutes to get some good charred notes.


1.) Measure your spices into one small bowl. Set aside. 2.) Fresh tomatoes - diced small. If using stewed tomatoes, drain into a fine mesh strainer. Start breaking the tomatoes apart into bite-sized strips. Transfer the tomato strips to a bowl and set aside.

3.) Tomato puree and garlic, mixed well, poured into a bowl, and et aside.

4.) Clean, pat dry, and inspect your cilantro. Save some leaves for garnishing. The rest can be finely chopped as your garnish. Set aside.

5.) On medium-high heat, into a large saute pan, and add a little olive oil. Once this is up to temperature, add your spices. You will gently toast the spices for just a couple of minutes.

6.) Add your harvested eggplant to the pan. Toss in the pan for about three to five minutes. Next, add your onions to the pan. You will start to see some juice begin cooking off but it will help cook the onions.

7.) Add your fresh (or stewed) tomatoes to the pan. Toss this in the pan. You will begin to notice some of the fluids from the tomato will excrete after about five minutes. Add your tomato puree mixture to the pan. Continue tossing to incorporate the tomato-garlic into the mixture. Once you start smelling the garlic cooking, reduce the heat to medium. This should be about two to three minutes.



8.) Periodically stir the zaalouk to prevent the bottom from burning. It is up to you how far you would like to cook down the fluids in this dish. You make the call!

9.) Garnish with your finely chopped cilantro to your liking. Mix well.


Serve with fresh bread for dipping. This can be used to spread on a sandwich or eaten as a hot or cold salad.


Softened eggplant, tomatoes, and onions
Zaalouk - Moroccan Eggplant Dip

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page