Zaalouk (Aubergine Caviar)

In today’s post I will indicate how to make this very traditional dish, which the Moroccans baptized as Zaalouk also known as eggplant caviar. This Moroccan eggplant salad is usually served as a starter.

Zaalouk is a Moroccan eggplant salad served with bread

Ingredients (for two people if served as a main dish, four if served as a starter)

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 3 Ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oil and salt

Preparation

First we prepare the aubergines, cutting the two ends off and breaking them into cubes. Personally, I don’t remove the skin, because I like the texture it gives the dish, although as everything is a matter of taste.

Then we cook them, either in a steamer (which is how I usually do it) or in a pot with water, the traditional way. Once cooked we must drain them thoroughly, placing them in a colander and even crushing them a little. Remember: the less water they have, the richer they are!

Then add oil to a frying pan (covering the bottom), the garlic and the tomatoes, very well chopped. Put it on a medium heat and when we appreciate that it is sufficiently light (as if it were a tomato sauce) we add the aubergines.

Finally, add the spices and salt and put a lid on it, leaving it on low heat for 15 minutes and stirring from time to time.

Now we only have to serve and eat them, as my friend Hassan says, with the Berber spoon. Many of you will ask yourselves: “What is the Berber spoon? Is it some kind of cutlery from Morocco that I don’t know? In the following picture you have the answer:

Obviously, like any Moroccan starter, it must be presented at the centre of the table, without using cutlery and making exclusive use of the bread to bring it to our mouths.

Variations

It is common to add sliced olives. Other ingredients that help to tone down the taste of Zaalouk are lemon, vinegar or even paprika, which gives it a spicy touch. On the other hand, it is a dish that can be eaten either hot or cold, although I usually go for the second option.

I hope that with these variants you will have eggplant caviar for a while, and that it will encourage you to prepare it more than once.

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