© Plant-based Chef and Author Sahar Elhallak

By Sahar Elhallak
Plant-based chef, author and #MedFoodHero Ambassador from High Atlas, Morocco.

Learn more about Sahar

Zaalouk (Moroccan Eggplant Salad)

Zaalouk is a traditional eggplant salad that can be prepared in hundreds of different ways. It can be eaten as a side dish or as a main dish – with fresh baked Moroccan bread and a drizzle of some olive oil. Make it extra special by sprinkling pomegranate seeds on top when they’re in season.

“My favorite recipe that I like to share often on my Instagram account is Zaalouk. I add different ingredients to it according to the season, and I love it when it’s a day old. I had made it when I was in Greece using sun-dried tomatoes, and it came out fabulous. I also like to add walnuts and olives to it to enjoy it as a full meal.”  – Sahar

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 12 minutes | Serves: 4

  • 3 medium-size eggplants – diced into small cubes
  • 2 large tomatoes – grated
  • 3-4 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • A handful of crushed walnut – optional
  • 4-5 dried tomatoes – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for sautéing
  1. In a large deep skillet with a lid, sauté on a medium-high the small cubed eggplants after sprinkling with a bit of salt until soft and translucent.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add a bit more olive oil, add garlic to this and cook for about a minute.
  3. Grate the tomatoes (a trick locals use). With a cheese grater, slice the tomato in half and grate, tossing away the skin. Add the tomato juice to the eggplant mix.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and coriander.
    Let it cook, occasionally stirring with the cover on for about 10 min.
  5. Add the fresh cilantro and diced dried tomatoes and walnuts if using.
  6. Serve garnished with green olives and drizzle with olive oil.

Did You Know?

Zaalouk is best eaten cold or at room temperature, and can be made a day in advance.

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What Are You Cooking?

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