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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 1½ cups dip

Zaalouk is a creamy cooked Moroccan salad that eats like a dip. This oil-free version pairs perfectly with toasted pita bread as an appetizer for a dinner party, but it’s also delicious on its own. Fragrant cumin, cayenne, and cilantro add a beautiful depth of flavor to simmered eggplant and ripe tomatoes. For a smokier flavor, roast the eggplant on a grill before partially peeling, then proceed to Step 1. When peeling the eggplant, do it in strips so that about half of the peel remains. It will cook faster that way without falling apart.

Tip: Use the reddest tomatoes you can find for this recipe. Keep tomatoes out of the refrigerator until they reach maximum ripeness. They should lightly give when pressed.


  • 1 small eggplant (1½ lb.), partially peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (3 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped roma tomatoes or canned diced San Marzano tomatoes, drained
  • 1 date, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 rounds whole wheat pita bread


  1. In a large skillet combine the first seven ingredients (through cayenne). Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until eggplant is very tender. Mash tomatoes and eggplant lightly with the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in cilantro, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. In a clean, dry skillet warm pita rounds over medium 4 minutes, turning once. Cut each round into eight wedges. Serve with zaalouk.

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(5 from 2 votes)
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Emily Citraro1 year ago
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I used date syrup instead of a date, smoked paprika, and “Old Bay” instead of straight cayenne. I added more lemon juice and only had a little Vietnamese cilantro, about 2T chopped finely. It was superb and I ate it over brown rice since I didn’t have pita.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.

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