Zaalouk with Crispy Halloumi and Olives

I wanted to try a different recipe other than baba ganoush with charred aubergine. I found this recipe on the olive magazine website. It has all those middle eastern flavours I love, smokiness from the spices and aubergine, sweetness from the tomatoes and freshness from the coriander and lemon. I used a spoon to pile a big dollop on the halloumi, when the zaalouk mixes with the salty, creamy halloumi it really is a delicious explosion of flavour. Be warned though it is very moorish.

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main)

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée (I use sun dried)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • bay leaf 1
  • 1 tsp spicy nduja
  • caster sugar a pinch
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • 250g halloumi, cut into ½ cm slices
  • 6 green stuffed olives, to serve


  1. Prick the aubergines all over with a fork. Carefully put over a medium gas flame and cook for 3-4 minutes each side, turning a few times until tender. You should be able to poke a skewer into the charred skin and straight through the flesh when it’s cooked. Alternatively you can do this under a hot grill. Remove and leave to cool. Once cool, remove and discard the burnt skin. Cut off the tops and finely chop the flesh.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Tip in the tomatoes, tomato purée, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, bay leaf, nduja and sugar. Season with a good pinch of salt. Add 100ml of water, mix well and bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes have broken down.
  3. Tip the aubergines into the sauce and season. Cover and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the sauce is lovely and thick. Add the lemon juice and coriander. Mix to combine.
  4. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the halloumi for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and crisp. To serve, spread the zaalouk between 2 serving dishes, top with the halloumi and olives.

One Comment Add yours

  1. mistimaan says:

    Looks too good 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s