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Zaalouk with Fried Halloumi and Toasted Pita Bread

Zaalouk with Fried Halloumi and Toasted Pita Bread


Zaalouk is a Moroccan eggplant and tomato salad that is often served as a dip or as part of a spread of small plates/tapas.

  • Serves: 6-8 |
    6-8 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 15 mins |
  • Cook Time : 35 mins
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4 x eggplants, halved lengthways
5 x ZZ2 tomatoes
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground cumin
1 Tbsp (15 ml) paprika
2 tsp (10 ml) smoked paprika
1 red chilli, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped chives
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chopped coriander
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper


1 block (300 g) halloumi cheese, sliced
olive oil
4 pita breads, quartered and toasted

To Serve

small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
reserved tomato cubes
3 Tbsp (45 ml) crushed pistachio nuts (optional)
4 pita breads, quartered and toasted


Place the halved eggplants cut side down on a foil-lined baking tray. Place the tray in the top rack of the oven and grill until the skin is charred. Let the egg plants cool then scoop the meat out of the skin into a bowl and set aside.

To prepare the tomatoes, core each one by running the tip of a sharp knife at an angle around the core to cut out and remove; score the bottom of each with an X. Half fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Prepare another large bowl with a few ice cubes and half fill it with cold water. Working in batches, place 4-5 tomatoes into the boiling water and blanch for a minute. Remove the tomatoes from the water and place them into the cold water. Let them sit for a minute then remove from the water and peel away the skin and discard. Once all of the tomatoes are peeled, slice them in half and scoop the seeds out and discard. Chop one tomato into small cubes and set aside to use for garnish; roughly chop the rest and set aside.

Set a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and fry the garlic, spices and chilli for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and fry for 5 minutes. Break up any big pieces of tomato with the back of a spatula or wooden spoon. Stir in the eggplant flesh and then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat then stir in the chives, coriander and lemon juice and season to taste. Let the zaalouk cool to room temperature before serving.


Set a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of olive oil and fry the halloumi slices for 1 minute per side until golden.

To Serve

When ready to serve, place the zaalouk onto a serving platter or into a dish. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley, cubes of tomato and crushed pistachio nuts. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a crack of black pepper and serve with toasted pita bread.