Moroccan Zaalouk Recipe

Pixel Stories / Stocksy United
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4-6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
163 Calories
10g Fat
19g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 4-6
Amount per serving
Calories 163
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 596mg 26%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Protein 4g
Calcium 95mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Eggplant is a popular vegetable used in Middle Eastern cooking. Technically it's a fruit, but like the tomato, an eggplant is generally treated like a vegetable. Whether you call it an eggplant, an aubergine or palitcan, it gives an earthy flavor to many staple dishes.

Zaalouk is a delicious cooked salad made with eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and spices. It's a common side dish to Middle Eastern meals, and is usually served as a dip with crusty bread.

Use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the best results. Some people like the extra sweetness of cherry or grape tomatoes, which are fine as long as you don't mind the slightly more laborious work of dicing them. If you like, drizzle a little extra olive oil on the salad when serving. You also can also squeeze a lemon over the dish before eating for a bit of extra tanginess.


A small wedge of fresh lemon added while the zaalouk is reducing adds a nice tangy nuance. A little chili oil heats it up for spicy food lovers.

Some Moroccan cooks boil the eggplant first, but that's not crucial.

Rather than peeling and chopping the eggplant, you might prefer to roast it. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and place it skin-side-up under a broiler. Leave it to roast for about 15 minutes, or until the skin is scorched and the eggplant is very tender. Scoop out the roasted eggplant from the skin, puree it with a vegetable masher, and proceed with the recipe.


  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro and parsley, mixed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • small wedge of lemon (optional)

Steps to Make It

To Make the Zaalouk

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large, deep skillet or pot.
  2. Cover and simmer over medium to medium-high heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the heat if necessary to avoid burning the zaalouk.
  3. Use a spoon or potato masher to crush and blend the tomatoes and eggplant. If you like, a small wedge of lemon can be added to the pan at this time.
  4. Continue simmering, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquids are reduced and the zaalouk can be stirred into a heap in the center of the pan.
  5. Serve warm or cold with crusty bread.