I love all things Moroccan. It is no secret. It is quite a public obsession in fact.

Last year I was lucky enough to have the holiday of a lifetime as I traveled to my dream destination and spent two weeks exploring this magical country. My obsession has since grown. As has my love for their food. My birthday last year was celebrated in the Sahara Desert and then in Morocco’s capital city, Rabat. It was a truly memorable day.

This year, there is no travel, but I am so fortunate to have an amazing friend who has spent a big chunk of her life living in Morocco and is now back in Adelaide with her daughter. Mish from Morocco by Mish is one of the loveliest people you will meet, and certainly one of the best cooks! Mish and her daughter hosted a Moroccan ‘cooking class’ for my sister and I as a celebration for my birthday this year. On the menu was one of my all time favourite foods. Eggplant.

Eggplant salad, also know as Zaalouk has an amazing taste and texture. You will either love it or not… I. LOVE. IT.

Give it a shot. The spices and the freshness of the vegetables will have you closing your eyes and transporting yourself to the medinas of Marrakesh.

Here we go:

4 large eggplants

4 tomatoes

Olive oil

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper… if you dare

1 tbsp cumin

6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil … adjust if needed

4 tbsps lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste … I like a good several pinches of salt in mine

chopped parsley and coriander to serve

Blacken the eggplants over a gas flame until they collapse. If you don’t have a gas oven, then you can simply salt and fry as you would normally do. Once blackened, place in a bowl with a lid and let them sweat so that they completely collapse and soften. Remove from bowl, remove skin and chop roughly.

Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and leave for a few minutes. Remove skin from tomatoes and then chop roughly.

Cook garlic and spices in frypan with olive oil until fragrant. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and smoosh around with a wooden spoon.

Leave simmer gently until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Transfer to a bowl. Add lemon juice, an extra olive oil and seasoning to taste.

Just before serving, add chopped parsley and coriander.

This is amazing hot or cold. Will keep for one week in your fridge. This makes me so happy as I love leftovers!