Zaalouk with Crispy Halloumi


  1. Prick the aubergines all over with a knife and then chuck them straight onto a gas flame. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, turning couple of minutes once charred to cook evenly. You want them to look burnt and a little battered on the outside and be lovely and tender inside. Once cool, peel and discard the burnt aubergine skin. Finely chop the flesh and mush it with the side of the knife.
  2. Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes, tomato puree, cumin, paprika and a good pinch of salt. Add 100ml of water, mix well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes have broken down.
  3. Transfer the aubergines to the tomato sauce. Mix well and check the seasoning. Cover and cook for another 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is lovely and thick. Add the lemon juice, chuck in the coriander and mix together.
  4. Whilst the aubergines cook in the sauce, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Carefully place the halloumi slices into the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and crispy.
  5. To serve the dish, spread the zaalouk onto a serving dish and top with halloumi. Give a final drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately with pitta.


Serves 4

2 large aubergines
4 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. paprika
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
A handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
250g halloumi cut into ½ cm slices
Warm pitta to serve
Sea salt

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