This traditional North African Zaalouk dip is a slightly spicy and smokey dip perfect for any gathering! Served warm or cold with crackers or bread, it makes a delicious and unique appetizer!
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What is Zaalouk Dip?
Zaalouk Dip, also known as Moroccan Eggplant Dip, is a traditional North African dish that is commonly served as an appetizer or side dish. This dip is created by cooking eggplant (also known as aubergine) and blending it with flavorful Moroccan spices like cumin, paprika, and coriander, along with tomatoes, garlic, and rich olive oil. The vegetables are mashed together until they form a thick and chunky dip, and then chilled before serving, although it can also be served warm.
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Typically served with bread or crackers, Zaalouk Dip can also be served as a side dish for grilled meats or fish. It has a smoky and slightly spicy flavor, and the texture of the dip is a combination of smooth and chunky. It is also a healthy and vegetarian-friendly dish that is high in fiber and antioxidants.
Zaalouk Recipe Ingredients
Olive Oil – The vegetables, including the eggplant, will be sautéed in olive oil.
Eggplant – Eggplant is a delicious vegetable that I think is often overlooked or only thought of in eggplant Parmesan! The eggplant, also referred to as aubergine, is a purple vegetable that varies in size and has a slightly bitter taste, yet greatly enhances the flavor of this incredible eggplant dip.
Tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes are best in this recipe!
Garlic – I don’t know about you, but garlic goes in just about everything!
Spices – Zaalouk dip calls a variety of Moroccan spices including paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
Lemons – Fresh lemon juice is a common ingredient in Moroccan cooking and this zaalouk recipe calls for a bit of fresh lemon juice. I highly recommend using fresh lemon juice, and not bottled or concentrated.
How to Make Zaalouk Dip (Moroccan Eggplant Dip)
While this recipe takes a little more time than my 2 ingredient fruit dip or slow cooker chorizo dip, it can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge in an airtight container. This makes it the perfect dip for any gathering or party!
Heat a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the olive oil, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and cumin.
Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Cover the pot with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant and tomatoes have become very soft. This should take about 25–30 minutes.
If the tomatoes do not release a lot of juice, and it seems too dry during cooking, add 2 tablespoons of water at a time up to 1/4 of a cup. Stir well between each addition of water.
Once the eggplant is very soft, use a potato masher to mash the eggplant and tomatoes. Stir in the chopped fresh parsley.
Continue to cook for about 5–10 minutes or until the dip has thickened to the desired consistency.
Stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately or chill and serve with crackers or crusty bread for dipping!
What to dip in Zaalouk?
There are a wide variety of things to dip in this delicious Zaalouk dip, such as…
- Crusty Bread
- Sliced vegetables such as peppers, carrots, celery, or cucumbers
- Pita Bread – either soft or toasted
- Try it as a spread on sandwiches or in wraps!
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup water, if needed
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Heat a medium-sized Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and cumin.
- Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cover with the lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant and tomatoes become very soft, about 25–30 minutes.
- If the tomatoes do not release much liquid, add 2 tablespoons of water at a time up to 1/4 of a cup of water.
- Using a potato masher, coarsely mash the eggplant and the tomatoes.
- Stir in the fresh parsley.
- Contine cooking for an additional 5–10 minutes or until the dip has thickened to the desired consistency.
- Stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately or chill and serve with crusty bread or crackers for dipping.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 167Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 87mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g
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Final Thoughts on Moroccan Eggplant Dip
Moroccan Zaalouk dip is a delicious addition to any meal either as an appetizer or side dish. With its blend of eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and spices, it’s no wonder this dip has become a staple in Moroccan cuisine. Zaalouk is a flexible and effortless dish that can be paired with pita bread or veggies, or incorporated as a spread in sandwiches or wraps. So why not try making your own at home? It’s certain to impress your friends and family with its unique flavor profile. Happy cooking!