I feel so inspired by recipes from different cultures—the way they cook, season, and serve different ingredients.
One of those ingredients that never ceases to amaze me is eggplant.
At a Middle Eastern restaurant we recently visited, I gave a dish called zaalouk a try. This dish, defined is a: Moroccan salad of cooked eggplant and tomatoes. Us Americans certainly wouldn’t look at it and call it a “salad” though.
Never-the-less, it was delicious—spicy + flavorful. And I was inspired.
Get ready friends—today we are cooking my twist on zaalouk. Let’s make some Smoky Moroccan Eggplant Stew!
As you might have guessed by now, the star of this dish is eggplant—roasted + cooked down with the rest of the stew. If you’re not usually a fan of eggplant (like my husband), this recipe is still one worth trying. The eggplant takes on the smokey flavors of the tomatoes and adds texture to compliment the sautéed onion.
Finally, my moroccan stew is made just a little spicy with harissa paste—a traditional Tunisian hot chili pepper paste. I love experimenting with multi-cultural spices + sauces in my recipes. A few months ago I picked up a jar of harissa in Trader Joes and have enjoyed it as an easy way to add flavor to so many dishes.
Don’t shy away from new ingredients my friends—always be trying new things—they may become a staple in your cooking!
I hope you love my Moroccan Eggplant Stew as much as I do! It is:
Smokey + Spicy
Vibrant + Creative
Traditional but also Innovative
Simple to make
& so full of Flavor!
If you enjoy this middle-eastern inspired dish, you might also like my masalaa chickpea curry + rice, turmeric lentil soup, thai peanut soup with kale, colorful spring rolls with peanut sauce, or curried lentil soup.
If you try this recipe, be sure to comment, leave a rating, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thelocalsprout on Instagram! I can’t wait to hear what you think!
- 1 large eggplant (unpeeled and cubed)
- 1 Tbsp. avocado oil (or sub melted coconut oil)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup water
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- ½ cup vegetable broth (or sub more water)
- 1 15 ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ Tbsp. honey (or sub maple syrup for vegan)
- 2 Tbsp. hairssa paste
- cooked white rice, brown rice, or quinoa
- chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425°F. On a large baking sheet, toss eggplant with oil and salt.
- Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway though, until dark + crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
- While eggplant roasts, heat a large, high rimmed pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the water and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until translucent and soft.
- Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir until onions are coated. Cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cover to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Pour in the cooked chickpeas, honey, harissa, and roasted eggplant. Stir until well combined. Cook uncovered for another 10 minutes to merge flavors.
- Serve stew over rice or other cooked grain with optional cilantro. Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.