Today we are making one of my favorite vegan dishes, Zaalouk. This Moroccan eggplant dip is made with fresh eggplant, tomato, spices, and olive oil. It’s fabulous served as a salad, in a tagine, or as a dip with bread.

a plate of Moroccan eggplant dip

If you like traditional Moroccan recipes like this one, you should check out this Tomato Salad and Roasted Pepper Salad.

Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this dip:

  • eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • cilantro
  • salt
  • paprika
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • water
  • white vinegar

See recipe card for quantities.

ingredients to make eggplant dip

Prepping the Tomatoes

Here are some tips on how to peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes:

  • score the top and bottom of the tomatoes
  • blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before transferring to an ice bath and pull the peels off with ease
  • slice the tomatoes into fourths and remove the seeds with your fingers

Instructions

ingredients to make eggplant dip

In a medium sized stock pot combine everything except the vinegar and mix. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer.

a pot with ingredients to make eggplant dip

Next, cover and continue to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the eggplant has broken down and reduced significantly. 

a pot with eggplant dip

Check the consistency and if it’s too dry add a splash of water. Finally, add the vinegar and mix to combine. Mash to desired consistency with a fork.

a plate of Moroccan eggplant dip

Serve with a slice of toasted bread, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cilantro and paprika if desired. 

Variations

Zaalouk is one of those Moroccan dishes that can vary a great deal from household to household. You may notice small details like which spices are used, how the eggplants are prepped, and other add ins.

Here are the most common variations I’ve noticed:

  • Cooking the Eggplant Separately – many Moroccans will roast or steam the eggplants before processing and adding to the tomatoes and spices.
  • Herbs & Spices – while I stuck to the traditional herbs & spices I grew up seeing my dad and grandma use, they will vary by household. This ras el hanout is a great catch-all blend to use when experimenting with Moroccan cuisine and salads in particular.
  • Peppers – some families add roasted peppers or even red chili flakes to this eggplant dip to add a smokey and/or spicy bite to the dish.
a plate of Moroccan eggplant dip

How to Serve Zaalouk

Zaalouk can be served as a salad, dip or entree (more on that later).

To serve it as a salad or dip, simply add to a plate and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of paprika if desired. Serve with freshly toasted bread.

A complete recipe for Zaalouk tagine is coming soon. In the meantime, it’s fabulous served warm on top of this Moroccan Lamb Shank Tagine.

Storage

This eggplant dip holds up really well in the fridge for up to 1 week when stored in an air tight container. It can be served hot or cold.

Warm it up for a few minutes in the microwave, or on the stovetop with a splash of water to loosen it up.

a plate of Moroccan eggplant dip

More Moroccan Salads to Try

Moroccan cuisine is famous for its vast selection of salads.

Traditionally served in small plates around the main dish (usually a tagine), they are as flavorful as they are colorful.

Try these Moroccan salads:

Bismillah,

Salima written in cursive
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a plate of Moroccan eggplant dip

Zaalouk (30 minute Moroccan Eggplant Dip)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: salad, side, snack, dip
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan, North African, Mediterannean, African
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Today we are making one of my favorite vegan dishes, Zaalouk. This Moroccan eggplant dip is made with fresh eggplant, tomato, spices, and olive oil. It’s fabulous as a salad, with lamb, or as a dip with bread. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large eggplant, roughly peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped with seeds removed (see note for tips)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp white vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized stock pot combine everything except the vinegar and mix. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cover and continue to simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the eggplant has broken down and reduced significantly.
  3. Check the consistency and if it’s too dry add a splash of water. Next, add the vinegar and mix to combine. Mash to desired consistency with a fork.
  4. Serve with a slice of toasted bread, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cilantro and paprika if desired.

Notes

Here are some tips on how to peel and remove the seeds from the tomatoes:

  • score the top and bottom of the tomatoes
  • blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before transferring to an ice bath and pull the peels off with ease
  • slice the tomatoes into fourths and remove the seeds with your fingers