The consistency of zaalouk reminds rather mashed potatoes or a thick dip than a salad. In Russia we call such type of dishes “eggplant caviar”. There are many variations of zaalouk – some bake eggplants, some boil them, some make zaalouk without bell pepper and the other add olives in the end of cooking process. Many Moroccans peel vegetables. I like to simplify recipes if it doesn’t affect the taste. So I would like to offer you this version.
- 1,2 kg of eggplants
- 350 g of green bell peppers
- 400 g of ripe tomatoes
- 5 tbsp (15 g) of fresh cilantro
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1,5 tbsp of ground cumin
- 2,5 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of paprika powder
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- 75 ml of oil
- 0,5 tsp of chili pepper or 1-2 fresh chili peppers
- Olives (you should add them in the end)
Cut vegetables in small cubes, mince garlic and cilantro. Put all ingredients to a frying pan, mix them.
Start frying at medium-high heat, stirring occasionally – you need to heat through the vegetables. When all vegetables are hot, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low or medium-low. Cook for 30 min. stirring occasionally. Avoid burning vegetables – reduce the heat if necessary.
Uncover the pan, crush the vegetables with a spoon. Continue simmering for ~10 min. without cover to reduce the liquid. In the end you may add olives, if you wish. Zaalouk can be served either warm or cold. Usually it is accompanied with fresh bread – f.e. Moroccan khobz or you can make fusion of Moroccan and Russian cuisines and eat zaalouk with rye bread.