Zaalouk (Moroccan Aubergine Salad)

Zaalouk (Moroccan Aubergine and Tomato Salad)

Last year I spent some time in Morocco and had the pleasure of sampling a variety of different Moroccan dishes. Since then, I’ve been trying to incorporate more Moroccan recipes into our lives, and autumn is usually a great time to pull out recipes for the various cooked vegetable dishes that are so common in Moroccan cuisine. Zaalouk, a warm aubergine and tomato salad, is one of my favourites.

It also helps that I typically have everything on hand for this dish, since all of the ingredients are common to Middle Eastern cooking as well. The name salad is kind of a misnomer, since salads typically invoke raw dishes – but it is served at room temperature, and is a perfect addition to a mezze table. Because it’s served at room temperature it can easily be made ahead for a party – served with Moroccan style bread (Lebanese talami bread goes great with this dish too, as does a traditional khubz). It’s not traditional, but I also like it warm served over plain couscous or cauliflower rice as a healthy vegan meal.

I like adding a little urfa biber chili to the zaalouk for a smokiness that compliments the aubergine, but if you don’t happen to have any you can easily omit it. Similarly, I like the texture and taste that whole cumin seed provides, but if you don’t have it just substitute the same quantity of the ground stuff.

Zaalouk (Moroccan Aubergine Salad)

This warm Moroccan eggplant and tomato salad is spiced with cumin, paprika, and coriander, with plenty of olive oil and lemon.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Lunch, Mezze, Side Dish
Cuisine: Moroccan, North African
Keyword: arabic salad, aubergine, beans in tomato sauce, coriander, cumin, eggplant, lazy lemonade, moroccan, moroccan aubergine salad, moroccan eggplant salad, north african, north african food, paprika, zaalouk
Servings: 6 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


For the Roasted Eggplant / Aubergine:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs eggplant (aubergine) (1kg)
  • fine sea salt (for sweating aubergine)

For the Zaalouk:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed (or 2 tsp toum)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp whole cumin seed
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp urfa biber chili, ground (optional)
  • 2 cups blanched and peeled tomatoes, chopped whole tinned tomatoes work here as well (600g)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp preserved lemon peel, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp cilantro (fresh coriander), coarsely chopped Plus extra for garnish, if desired.


For the Roasted Eggplant / Aubergine:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a large baking sheet with foil.
  • Slice aubergine into thick (¾" / 2cm) rounds. Salt liberally and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the aubergine to sweat. Rinse off the salt, drizzle with olive oil and add a little extra salt, and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 35 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

For the Zaalouk:

  • In a saucepan over medium heat add your olive oil. Once the oil is warmed add your garlic, paprika, cumin, cumin seeds, coriander, and urfa biber (if you have it). Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add your salt, pepper, tomatoes, preserved lemon, bay leaf, and the water and cook for 5 minutes. Finally, add your aubergine (eggplant) and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in fresh coriander (cilantro) and lemon juice, and serve with warm bread.


As a main course with bread this will serve 4, 6-8 as part of a mezze.
October 10, 2019
October 17, 2019



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