Zaalouk; eggplant and tomato dip
Moroccan eggplant and tomato dip.
I am always looking for recipes with eggplant in them. Zalouk called out to me at 1 am in the morning while lying in bed trying to fall asleep.
Why did I answer the after -midnight siren call of this Morrocan delight? Simple. I’m like Oscar Wilde, I can resist anything but temptation. But as well as being food, Zalouk has the added appeal of being very versatile. EVERYONE has their own version and there are no rules that can’t be bent or broken (and they’re my favourite kind).
The amount of tomatoes to eggplant and how much seasoning is used varies, from recipe to recipe, as does the cooking method and it can be produced with a variety of textures as well.
I made my own version of course, and because of the move I don’t have much time to fiddle around. It had to be easy and quick. This dip/spread/ accompaniment
is packed with flavour, it’s delicious from the moment you take it off the stove till (in my case) the third day in the fridge. I ate it by the spoonful, as a side with chicken; I ate it with crackers; with bread, avocado and olives (heaven!).
You can eat it hot or cold, for brunch or as a snack, it’s simply the best!
1 kg eggplant, peeled and cut into cubes
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
½ cup finely chopped continental parsley
½ teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon coriander
2-3 teaspoons harissa paste (I love that stuff)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Juice of half a lemon
Heat up a sauce pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Once olive oil is hot, add the eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, spices and parsley. Stir for 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat and let it simmer with lid on for an hour.
After an hour I added 3 tablespoons of water and I let it simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and lemon juice and let it simmer on very low heat for another 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave with lid on for 20 minutes for the flavours to come together.