ZAALOUK (Moroccan eggplant)

The good stuff:

  • Eggplants, when well cooked, are critical to vegan cuisine (in my opinion). Zaalouk happens to be a really delicious, dreamy Moroccan specialty that celebrates the wonderful eggplant. It was a big favourite at one my recent Supper Clubs.
  • Eggplants are a great source of fiber (good for digestion & to detoxify)
  • 100gr of raw eggplant covers 30% of your Calcium DRV- who knew!
  • The skin of the eggplant (which you shouldn’t discard) contains essential phyto nutrients which improve blood circulation and nourish the brain.

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium sized eggplants
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro

Zaalouk2

The process:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Wash the eggplants, pat dry, cut off the top part.
  • With a knife, prick the eggplant with small cuts (we are going to bake the eggplants and this is important so that the eggplant doesn’t explode in the oven!)
  • Wrap all the eggplants in aluminium (bunch them together) and bake the eggplants for 45 minutes.
  • During that time, you can do a few other things:
  • Drizzle some olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic cloves and tomatoes until soft.
  • Chop some cilantro and set aside.
  • At this point, you probably still have some time to kill (waiting for the eggplants) – so you can go play some music and boogie away in the meantime (or do something else!)
  • When your eggplants are ready, remove & dice into cubes. If there are sections that are overwhelmingly seedy- discard of them (they can be a tad bitter).
  • Add the eggplants to the pan and cook with the tomatoes, garlic.
  • Add paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes
  • Transfer to a heat-resistant bowl and mash the mixture with a potato masher or a large fork- and transfer BACK to pan (to cook a little more)
  • Add some fresh cilantro and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes:

  • There are many versions of Zaalouk floating on the internet- so Im not sure what is the authentic recipe, but they all contain the above ingredients and have similar cooking methods.
  • You can bake the eggplants a day ahead if you’re short on time 🙂

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