Monday, October 1, 2007

Recipe from Moroccan Cooking: Eggplant purée

One thing I am unhappy with about this book is that it gives the Moroccan names only for a couple of dishes. This I intend to rectify by discovering what those names are, if possible, and including them with the recipes.

This eggplant purée is called Zahluk or Zaalouk in Morocco, and is known all over North Africa and in Turkey and probably other countries of the Near East. More vegetables are used in some versions, such as zucchini and tomatoes.

To serve 4.
Time: 40 minutes preparation, 20 minutes cooking.

1 kg eggplants, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Ground pepper
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
3 pitta breads
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tbs cumin seeds

To prepare eggplant:
Steam eggplant cubes in a colander or bamboo steamer over boiling water for 30 minutes. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add eggplant cubes, garlic, pepper and paprika. Lower the temperature a little. Fry and stir constantly for about 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is very soft. Serve hot with the toasted pitta bread.

To prepare the bread:
Split each pitta bread into two rounds. Brush with egg white, sprinkle with cumin seeds and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Break into pieces before serving.

Serve as a starter or as part of a meal of several small dishes.

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