Algerian Eggplant Jam Recipe - Authentic North African Dish

Algerian Eggplant Jam

Algerian Eggplant Jam Recipe - Authentic North African Dish
Region / culture: Algeria | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes | Servings: 4-6


Algerian Eggplant Jam
Algerian Eggplant Jam

Algerian Eggplant Jam is a delightful and unique dish that combines the rich flavors of the Mediterranean with the exotic spices of North Africa. This recipe transforms the humble eggplant into a savory, slightly spicy, and utterly delicious spread that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Perfect for serving as an appetizer, side dish, or a spread on your favorite bread, this eggplant jam is sure to impress with its complex flavors and beautiful presentation.


The tradition of making eggplant jam in Algeria is steeped in history, tracing back to the times when the Ottoman Empire influenced the culinary landscape of North Africa. Eggplants, being abundant in the region, were often cooked in innovative ways to create dishes that were both nutritious and flavorful. Over time, the recipe evolved, incorporating local spices and cooking techniques, to become a beloved staple in Algerian cuisine.


How to prepare

  1. 1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the stems off the eggplants. Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, peel the skin in 0.5 inch wide strips vertically down each eggplant so you get a striped effect. Slice each eggplant horizontally into 0.5 inch slices. Place in a colander and salt each slice. Let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. 2) Brush a baking sheet with 3 tbsp of oil. Lightly brush the eggplant slices with 2 tbsp of oil and place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the slices are light golden brown on both sides.
  3. 3) Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and, using a fork or potato masher, mash it with the garlic, paprika, cumin, water, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. 4) Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Add the mashed eggplant and fry it very slowly, turning occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates. Stir in the lemon juice and cook for 1 minute longer. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  5. 5) Place the eggplant on a platter and garnish with parsley and lemon or tomato wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. This eggplant spread has a jam-like consistency.
  6. 6) Serve it with warm country-style bread or pita.


  • For a smokier flavor, grill the eggplant slices instead of baking them.
  • Add chopped olives or capers for a briny contrast to the sweetness of the eggplant.
  • Incorporate a tablespoon of honey or pomegranate molasses for a hint of sweetness.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Algerian Eggplant Jam turns out perfectly, consider the following tips:

- Choose eggplants that are firm and have glossy skin for the best flavor and texture.

- Salting the eggplant slices before cooking helps to draw out bitterness and excess moisture.

- Be patient when frying the mashed eggplant; slow cooking intensifies the flavors and achieves the desired jam-like consistency.

- Adjust the amount of spices according to your taste preference. The recipe is versatile and forgiving.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the eggplant jam warm or at room temperature as a spread on crusty bread, pita, or as a side dish to complement grilled meats or fish. It also pairs beautifully with a crisp salad for a light meal.

Cooking Techniques

Baking and frying are the primary cooking techniques used in this recipe. Baking the eggplant slices before mashing helps to concentrate their flavor, while slow frying the mashed eggplant mixture ensures the perfect jam-like consistency.

Ingredient Substitutions

If harissa is not available, substitute it with a mixture of smoked paprika and a pinch of chili flakes.

- Lemon juice can be replaced with vinegar for a different acidic note.

- Parsley can be substituted with cilantro for a different herbal flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

This eggplant jam can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors will continue to develop, making it even more delicious.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the eggplant jam with extra chopped parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of paprika before serving. Serve it in a beautiful bowl alongside warm bread for an inviting presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair this eggplant jam with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir, to complement its rich flavors.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the eggplant jam in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, gently warm it in a pan over low heat, adding a little water if necessary to prevent it from drying out.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Algerian Eggplant Jam contains approximately 140 calories, making it a relatively low-calorie addition to meals or as a snack.


A serving of Algerian Eggplant Jam contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates. The majority of these carbs come from the eggplants themselves, which are a good source of dietary fiber.


This recipe is relatively low in fats, with each serving containing about 10 grams of fat, primarily from the olive oil used in cooking. Olive oil is known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.


Algerian Eggplant Jam is not a significant source of protein, containing about 2 grams per serving. It's best served as part of a meal that includes other protein sources.

Vitamins and minerals

Eggplant is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese. This dish also benefits from the nutritional properties of garlic, parsley, and lemon juice, which contribute additional vitamins and antioxidants.


This recipe is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. However, those with specific food sensitivities should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Algerian Eggplant Jam is a nutritious and flavorful dish, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It's low in calories and fats, making it a healthy choice for those looking to enjoy the flavors of Algerian cuisine.


Algerian Eggplant Jam is a versatile and flavorful dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Algeria. With its nutritious ingredients and complex flavors, it's a wonderful addition to any meal. Whether served as a spread, side dish, or appetizer, this eggplant jam is sure to delight and impress.

How did I get this recipe?

I have a clear recollection of the first time I saw this recipe for Algerian Eggplant Jam. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl visiting my aunt in Algeria. My aunt was known for her delicious homemade jams and preserves, and on this particular visit, she decided to teach me how to make her special eggplant jam.

I remember walking into my aunt's kitchen and seeing her standing at the stove, stirring a large pot filled with diced eggplant, sugar, and spices. The sweet aroma of cooking fruit filled the air, and I couldn't wait to learn how to make this unique jam.

As my aunt guided me through the process, she explained that eggplant jam was a traditional Algerian dish that was often served as a dessert or alongside savory dishes. It was made by simmering eggplant with sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and other spices until it reached a thick, jam-like consistency.

I watched as my aunt carefully stirred the jam, tasting it occasionally to adjust the sweetness and seasoning. She taught me the importance of patience and attention to detail when making jams, as even a few minutes of extra cooking could ruin the entire batch.

After several hours of simmering and stirring, the jam was finally ready. My aunt poured it into sterilized jars and sealed them tightly, explaining that the jam would last for months if stored properly.

I couldn't wait to taste the finished product, and when I finally did, I was amazed by the complex flavors and textures of the jam. The soft, caramelized eggplant paired perfectly with the tartness of the lemon and the warmth of the cinnamon, creating a truly unique and delicious treat.

From that day on, I was hooked on making jams and preserves. I spent years perfecting my aunt's recipe for Algerian Eggplant Jam, experimenting with different spices and techniques to create my own twist on the traditional dish.

Over the years, I shared my recipe with friends and family, passing down the knowledge and love for homemade jams that my aunt had instilled in me. Each time I make a batch of Algerian Eggplant Jam, I think back to that day in my aunt's kitchen and feel grateful for the knowledge and skills she passed down to me.

Now, as I stand in my own kitchen, stirring a pot of simmering eggplant and spices, I can't help but smile as I remember that first taste of Algerian Eggplant Jam. It's a recipe that holds a special place in my heart, connecting me to my aunt, my heritage, and the joy of cooking for those I love. And as I seal the jars of jam and set them aside to cool, I know that this tradition will continue for generations to come.


| Algerian Recipes | Algerian Snacks | Eggplant Recipes | Potato Recipes |

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