Zaalouk is a classic Moroccan dip made from eggplant, tomatoes, and spices.
It’s traditionally served with bread or crackers but since I’m a person that eats guacamole with a spoon, I just want to dig into this with a fork!
It’s not difficult to make, but it does take some time start to finish since you have to boil the eggplant first for 30 minutes, then cook it together with the other ingredients for about another 30 minutes. So, when I’m making this, I would make a much bigger batch, especially if using it as a side dish instead of a dip.
It can be served warm or cold, and it’s actually even nicer the next day when the flavors had some time to meld.
Feel free to drizzle some extra olive oil on top after it’s done cooking, too.
Moroccan Olive Oil
Something interesting I recently learned: In Morocco, olive oil production is done almost entirely by women’s collectives. The industry has created over 300,000 jobs for women, drastically reducing unemployment and helping to elevate their social standing in a male dominated society. Plus, almost all Moroccan olive oil is extra virgin first cold pressed, which is the highest quality oil you can find.
I’m all for female entrepreneurship, #womenwhowork, and high quality ingredients, so when I see Moroccan olive oil at the store, I’m buying it!
Zaalouk Recipe featured on NBC’s Today in New York (Full recipe below!)
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large eggplant (about 1- 1.5 pounds), chopped into 1 inch cubes
- 4 tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
- 2 tbs. olive oil + 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp of white vinegar
- ½ tsp salt (to taste)
- ½ tsp black pepper (to taste)
- Fill a large stockpot with water and ½ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, crush and mince the garlic.
- Slice the eggplant into 1 inch cubes.
- Once water is boiling, add the eggplant to the pot and cook covered for approximately 25-30 minutes until soft.
- Drain the eggplant in a colander and use the back of a spoon to press as much excess water out as possible. (Otherwise your dip will be soupy!)
- Now, heat a large pan over medium low heat. Add 2 tbs. olive oil and then the tomatoes. Let cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and spices. Cook for another 5 minutes and occasionally crush with a fork until the tomatoes start breaking down.
- Mix in the eggplant and 2 tbs. olive oil. Cook for about 20 minutes. During this time, continually use a fork to break down and mash the mixture together to make it like a paste or dip.
- Then, mix in the fresh herbs, allowing to cook another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While it can be served hot as is, it’s traditionally chilled overnight and served with crusty bread or crackers. You could also simply eat with a fork!