Mitzismezze · Recipes

Zaalouk

Zaalouk or aubergine caviar as it’s known in Morocco is a great way to cook the sometimes forgotten aubergine. This combination of aubergine and tomatoes is brought to life by sweet paprika and fresh herbs. Hands down it’s my favourite dish from my blog so far, a close tie with my recipe for Circassian chicken (coming soon!!). Zaalouk is a vegan mezze and also gluten-free, which makes it an all-round winner. Serves 4.

 
Ingredients:

500g of tomatoes – ripe

500g of aubergine (about 2)

3 tbsps. of olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

½ tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp. of sweet paprika

2 tbsps. of coriander – chopped

1 tbsp. of parsley – chopped

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tbsp of lemon juice

 

 

Method:

Wash the aubergines and using a vegetable peeler, peel the aubergines in alternating 1cm strips the length of the vegetable and then cut into 1cm thick slices. Salt each slice and leave to drain in a sieve or colanders for about 1 hour. Then gently rinse the salt off the slices and pat dry with kitchen paper. Mark a cross in the top of each tomato and place in a large pot of boiling water and boil for about 2 minutes and then remove. This will allow the skin to be easily removed. Peel, de-seed and chop, discarding the skins and seeds. In a large sauce, heat 1 tbsp of the oil and cook the tomatoes, cumin, coriander, parsley, paprika and garlic. Cook on a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated and set aside. In another shallow pan, heat the remaining oil and fry the aubergines in batches until brown and cooked on both sides. Remove from the pan and drain the slices on kitchen paper and begin the next batch until all the aubergine has been fried. Reserve the pan and remaining oil in it. In a bowl, mash the aubergines and tomatoes together into a puree using a potato masher or fork. You can use a food processor at this stage but I prefer a more chunky consistency. Add this puree to the previous pan with the oil reside and fry until no liquid remains, approximately 10 minutes stirring continuously to avoid the mixture sticking to the pan. Season with lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper. This can be served either hot or cold.

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