I started liking eggplant since I started blogging. I have tried several recipes -Indian and international with it and loved it as salad, pizzas, dips , etc. But these days show me an eggplant and the standard recipe to turn to is bharta. The North Indian roasted and spiced spread goes well as side, dip and spread.
This time I decided to go for something thats equally spicy but different. I decided to do Moroccan cooked salad called 'zaalouk' .
'Cooked Salad'? Did you hear it right ?
Yup. Moroccan chefs cook the eggplant by boiling it and then turn it into this salad by adding tomatoes and other spices and seasonings. I found a roasted version here which included roasted peppers as well and it turned out perfect with my meloui.
Eggplant: 1 large
Green Bell Pepper: 2 -medium sized
Olive oil: 1/3 cup ( I used less)
Tomatoes: 2-3 medium peeled and chopped
Fresh Cilantro/ Parsley: 1/3 cup (I used a mix of both herbs
Garlic clove: 3-4
Paprika: 2 tsp
Ground cumin: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1.5 tsp +/-
Water: 1/3 cup
Lemon Juice: 2-3 tsp
Green chili (optional)
Wash and stem the eggplant. Slice it lengthwise and place it on a lined baking sheet. Wash and halve the bell peppers and place it on the baking sheet.If you are using additional green chili or even garlic cloves you can place in the baking sheet.
Broil /Roast the eggplant and other items in the oven for about 20 minutes until the peppers are charred and the eggplant turns soft. If the peppers are done before the eggplant, remove them from the oven and put htem in a ziplocked bag where will sweat out and loosen from their skin.
You can even broil/roast these directly on the gas stove. Once done, peel the pepper, and coarsely chop these.
Once the eggplant is done scoop put the flesh from the eggplant discarding skin and large clumps of seeds and coarsely chop and mash it. Keep side.
While the roasting is being done, heat a deep pan/skillet on medium and adding little oil, garlic cloves, spices, salt and herbs.
Add in enough water and let it all cook until pulpy and raw smell disappear.
Then add in the mashed eggplant and chopped peppers including the optional green chili and adding more water (if needed) let it cook covered for another 10-15 minutes until the water is almost absorbed and flavours are mixed well.
Adjust salt and seasonings and add in the lemon juice and cook for another minute or so stirring to prevent from burning.
Serve the zaalouk hot or cold with bread. Its perfect as a dip, spread, topping etc.
I liked it with meloui and both were polished off in no time.