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Morrocan Masala Bowl: Zaalouk

Morrocan Masala Bowl: Zaalouk

This culinary masterpiece has its origins in vibrant Moroccan cuisine, which combines fresh ingredients with flavourful spices to create a harmonious dish. Zaalouk's story has roots that go back many centuries and is entwined with Moroccan custom, providing an enticing look into the nation's culinary legacy. This dish, made from roasted eggplants and juicy tomatoes, combines the flavour of North African spices with the cosiness of social gatherings, making it more than just a culinary delight but also a window into Morocco's savoury past.

Zaalouk's history may be traced back to the time of the Berber tribes, who were the region's original inhabitants and who farmed the land and enjoyed its bounty. With tomatoes and eggplants as its foundation, Zaalouk developed into a celebration of regional foods and culinary innovation. As traders and travelers passed through the area over time, they left a path of influences that increased the dish's flavor profile.

It is a meal that connects the past and present and serves as a culinary ambassador for Morocco today. Each mouthful carries the memories of long-gone customs, trading routes, and social gatherings, as well as the laughter of countless others. It serves as a reminder that food serves as a symbol of shared human experience, culture, and history in addition to providing sustenance.

Preparation Time

50 minutes


2 large eggplants 

3 medium tomatoes (diced)

1 onion (chopped)

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

Ground black pepper

Cilantro or parsley (chopped)

Lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

¼ cup olive oil



  • Place the whole eggplants on a baking sheet and pierce them a few times with a fork. 
  • Roast the eggplants in a preheated oven for about 40 minutes. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in the diced tomatoes, ground cumin, paprika, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Let the mixture cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the eggplant from the oven and let them cool slightly. Peel off the charred skin and discard it. Chop the roasted eggplant flesh finely.
  • Add the chopped roasted eggplant to the tomato mixture in the skillet. Mix everything and let it cook for an additional 15 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld and the mixture to thicken.
  • Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and stir it in for a tangy flavor.
  • Remove the skillet from heat and let the Zaalouk cool. 
  • Garnish the Zaalouk with cilantro or parsley and serve.