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  • Jeff Koehler

Spicy Mashed Eggplant, Tomato and Garlic Zaâlouk Salad

A Moroccan classic, served warm, cold or at room temperature, from “The North African Cook Book” by Jeff Koehler.

This cooked eggplant salad known as zaâlouk is a Moroccan classic. Served warm, cold or at room temperature, it is ideal as part of a spread of salads and pairs nicely with grilled meats or fish. This recipe has a slightly less spicy bite than many versions, especially those from the south of the country. A potato masher is the easiest method to mash the eggplant.

Region: Morocco

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


2 eggplants (about 800g total)

5 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, halved crosswise and grated, peel discarded

1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 heaped tablespoon finely chopped coriander

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

cayenne pepper, to taste

salt and pepper

bread, to serve


Using a vegetable peeler or knife, peel the eggplant skin lengthwise in strips, leaving about a third of the skin on the flesh. Cut the eggplants into 1.5–2-cm cubes.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or sauté pan over a medium heat, add the eggplants, cover and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in the garlic, then add the tomatoes, parsley, coriander, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper.

Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring and mashing down the ingredients with a wooden spoon or potato masher until it has a paste-like consistency, the tomatoes have reduced and the flavours combined, about 20 minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed.

Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm or at room temperature with bread.

This is an edited extract from “The North African Cook Book” by Jeff Koehler (Phaidon), $74.95.

This is an extract from an article that appears in print in our eighth edition, Page 110 of Winning Magazine. Subscribe to Winning Magazine today.


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