Eggplant, Morroccan-style (Zahlouk)

plate of zahlouk

I know little of the foods of North Africa, so when I saw Chef Zouhair Zairi‘s new book Moorish Fusion Cuisine, I was instantly interested. His book is filled with mouthwatering dishes (around 70) all made with the best and the rarest of ingredients (such as 50-year old Balsamic vinegar and Argan oil). Chef Zairi was inspired by the Moors’  legacy during what was probably  the apogee of Islamic civilization as well as by his experience living and working  all over the globe.

This dish is a home-style eggplant salad from his mother’s and grandmother’s. 

What can I say, besides yogurt, Arab  food is about eggplant too!

Recipe adapted from Moorish Fusion Cuisine (Chef Zouhair Zairi)

practicing an old trade in Erbil Bazaar


  • 2 eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped and mashed in a mortar
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • salt, black pepper


  1. Peel and cut eggplant in cubes; steam eggplant cubes. NOTE: I blackened the eggplant on the stove with the skin on and when the skin was charred all around, set it on a colander, peeled it and drain it.
  2. Mash eggplant.
  3. Heat olive oil and fry onion then garlic till soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, eggplant, cumin, paprika; cook over gentle heat till liquid evaporates.
  5. Add cilantro, salt ,pepper and stir in lemon juice
  6. Serve  with flatbread and olives (best at room temperature).

Eggplant `morocco

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  1. Posted March 21, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Mouthwatering! A tasty combination. Moroccan food is really wonderful…



  2. Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Most definitely eggplant is center focus too!

    Happy Spring!


  3. Posted March 22, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I love eggplant in any form! And this one sounds so tasty with all spices in it. I’m sure roasting it on the stove gives a great smoky flavor! BTW love the picture of that man grinding a knife, especially the scissors hung on the wall took my attention! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Num, I love eggplant and agree that there is nothing like grilled eggplant… it always tastes better that way. Love the recipe.

  5. Posted March 23, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of charring the eggplants first. What a delicious meal with olives and flatbread!

  6. Posted March 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    I love the idea of this dip. It sounds so delicious and would be awesome with fresh pita bread.

  7. Posted March 26, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    I always like to see pictures of people you put here, besides the delicious recipes. It makes me feel at home, so simple and yet so rich in a different culture but still close to my heart and soul.

  8. Posted March 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    For sure I will make it!!…..I love eggplants!….delicious……..Abrazotes, Marcela

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