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Zaalook – a Moroccan Eggplant Salad Zaalook – a Moroccan Eggplant Salad

One of the first Moroccan salads I truly liked was zaalook. It also was how I learned to like eggplant in more varieties than just fried. Cooked salads are a big part of a Moroccan lunch, in fact you’ll rarely see lunch served without at least one salad and sometimes there will be as many as five. To prepare this salad is simple, but feel free to adjust the seasonings for your taste. Sometimes we add a bit of chili pepper to give it a little zing.

I suggest cubing and soaking the eggplant in salted water for a little while (half hour to an hour) before beginning.


  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 large cubed eggplant
  • 1-2 tomatoes cut small
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 gloves chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small to medium chopped onion


1) Add a few tbsp oil to a frying pan. Once it heats up add the garlic and onion and cook until softened (3-5 minutes). Add half of each of the spices.

2) Add tomatoes and eggplant. If you want you can add about 1/4c of tomato sauce to make it smoother.

3) Add the rest of the oil and cook as the tomato and eggplant soften. Mash as this occurs. Add the rest of the spices at this point.

4) The final result should not be too chunky, as you should cook until they are relatively soft. Some chunks are ok. You can place into a food processor to make a very smooth consistency.

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Amanda Mouttaki

Curious world traveling, mom of two busy boys, foodie at heart, addicted to social media and lover of all things Moroccan.

  • Natalie Tanner

    April 6, 2014 #1 Author

    We had this in Tangier, Morocco and it was fantastic!! Can’t wait to make it this summer with homegrown eggplants!


  • The New Sue

    August 6, 2008 #3 Author

    waa3badellah! Finally someone who knows a REAL recipe for Zaalouk! I use the exact same, taught to me by my mother in law. My husband is also Moroccan and I've had the pleasure of being taught Moroccan cuisine from all of his female relatives, one by one. Love your blog, inshalah one day my husband and I also wish to live between Morocco and Canada. :)

    salam alaikoum a khti


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