Arabic Eggplant Salad Recipe - A Flavorful Dish from Arabia

Arabic Eggplant Salad

Arabic Eggplant Salad Recipe - A Flavorful Dish from Arabia
Region / culture: Arabia | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Arabic Eggplant Salad
Arabic Eggplant Salad

Arabic Eggplant Salad is a vibrant and flavorful dish that brings the rich culinary traditions of the Arab world to your table. This recipe combines the smoky taste of fried eggplant with the freshness of herbs and the tanginess of lemon, creating a salad that's both refreshing and deeply satisfying. Perfect as a side dish or a light meal on its own, this salad is a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Arabic cuisine.


The origins of Arabic Eggplant Salad can be traced back to the Middle East and North Africa, where eggplants have been a staple ingredient for centuries. This dish is inspired by various regional recipes that celebrate the eggplant's versatility. Over time, it has evolved, incorporating spices and ingredients that reflect the rich culinary heritage of the Arab world. Today, it stands as a beloved dish enjoyed by many, transcending borders and bringing people together through the universal language of food.


How to prepare

  1. 1) Slice the eggplants into rounds 2 cm thick. Sprinkle with salt and let them rest in a colander for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. 2) Pour oil into a wide-based pan to a depth of 2 cm and fry the eggplant in batches in a single layer until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels, discard the oil, and wipe the pan clean. Once the eggplant has cooled slightly, mix it with the garlic and spices and return it to the pan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid evaporates (about 10–15 minutes). Add lemon juice and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary — you may need to add a little salt.
  3. 3) Allow the salad to cool for 30 minutes, then toss the coriander and preserved lemon through it, and serve slightly warm (never straight from the refrigerator).


  • Add chickpeas or feta cheese for a protein boost.
  • Incorporate other vegetables like roasted bell peppers or tomatoes for added flavor and texture.
  • For a spicier version, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add fresh chili peppers.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your Arabic Eggplant Salad turns out perfectly, consider these tips:

- Salt the eggplant slices before cooking to draw out moisture. This not only seasons the eggplant but also helps achieve a better texture.

- Use a high-quality olive oil for frying to impart a rich flavor to the eggplants.

- Be patient when frying the eggplant; cook in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan, which can lead to uneven cooking.

- Adjust the spices according to your taste preference. The recipe is versatile and welcomes experimentation.

Serving Suggestions

Arabic Eggplant Salad can be served as a standalone dish or as a side. It pairs wonderfully with grilled meats, fish, or a simple rice pilaf. For a complete meal, serve it alongside a protein source and a grain for a well-rounded nutritional profile.

Cooking Techniques

Frying the eggplant in olive oil is the traditional method used in this recipe, but for a healthier version, you can opt to bake or grill the eggplant slices instead. This will reduce the overall fat content while still delivering a delicious result.

Ingredient Substitutions

If preserved lemon is not available, use extra lemon juice or zest for a similar tangy flavor.

- Fresh parsley can be used in place of coriander for a different herbal note.

- Swap sweet paprika for smoked paprika for a deeper, smokier flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

This salad can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. In fact, letting it sit allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Just be sure to bring it to room temperature before serving for the best taste.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the salad in a beautiful bowl garnished with extra chopped coriander and a few slices of preserved lemon on top. A drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika can add a final touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

This salad pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine or a light-bodied red wine. Non-alcoholic options include sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon or a mint-infused iced tea.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. This salad is best enjoyed at room temperature, so simply remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Reheating is not recommended as it can alter the texture of the eggplant.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Arabic Eggplant Salad contains approximately 120 calories, making it a low-calorie option suitable for weight management or those seeking a lighter meal.


A serving of Arabic Eggplant Salad contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carbohydrates is the eggplant itself, which is a low-calorie, fiber-rich vegetable. This makes the salad a great option for those monitoring their carbohydrate intake or looking for a lighter meal option.


The fat content in this salad primarily comes from the olive oil used for frying. A serving contains about 10 grams of fat, most of which are monounsaturated fats. These are considered healthy fats that can help improve heart health when consumed in moderation.


Arabic Eggplant Salad is relatively low in protein, with each serving providing about 2 grams. The protein comes from the eggplants and the small amounts present in the spices and herbs. For a higher protein meal, consider pairing the salad with a protein-rich side such as grilled chicken or fish.

Vitamins and minerals

This salad is a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C from the lemon juice, vitamin A from the paprika, and various B vitamins found in the eggplant. It also provides minerals like potassium and magnesium, which are essential for maintaining healthy bodily functions.


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


Overall, Arabic Eggplant Salad is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's low in calories and proteins but can be easily paired with other protein sources for a balanced meal.


Arabic Eggplant Salad is a testament to the simplicity, flavor, and nutritional richness of Arabic cuisine. With its combination of smoky eggplant, vibrant spices, and fresh herbs, it's a dish that delights the senses and nourishes the body. Whether served as a side or a main, it's sure to be a hit at any table.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the joy I felt when I first stumbled upon this recipe for Arabic Eggplant Salad. It was a warm summer day many years ago, and I had been invited to a potluck dinner at my friend Farah's house. Farah is of Lebanese descent and always serves the most delicious Middle Eastern dishes at her gatherings.

As soon as I walked into her home, I was greeted by the most enticing aroma of spices and herbs. The table was filled with an array of colorful dishes, but what caught my eye was a beautiful platter of roasted eggplant salad. The vibrant colors of the dish, with its rich purples and greens, were enough to make my mouth water.

I immediately asked Farah for the recipe, and she graciously obliged. She explained to me that Arabic Eggplant Salad is a traditional dish in her culture, often served as a side dish or appetizer. The combination of roasted eggplant, fresh herbs, and tangy lemon juice creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is both refreshing and satisfying.

Farah took me into her kitchen and showed me how to prepare the dish step by step. She started by roasting whole eggplants over an open flame until the skin was charred and the flesh inside was soft and smoky. She then peeled off the charred skin and chopped the eggplant into small cubes.

Next, Farah added chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers to the eggplant. She then mixed in a generous amount of minced garlic, fresh parsley, and mint leaves. The fragrant aroma of the herbs filled the air, and I could hardly wait to taste the finished dish.

Farah drizzled the salad with olive oil and squeezed fresh lemon juice over the top. She sprinkled a pinch of salt and a dash of sumac, a tangy Middle Eastern spice, to enhance the flavors even more. The salad was finally ready to be served, and I eagerly took a bite.

The first mouthful was a burst of flavors in my mouth – the smoky eggplant, the zesty lemon juice, the earthy herbs, and the tangy sumac all combined to create a symphony of tastes that danced on my taste buds. I couldn't get enough of it and immediately asked for a second helping.

From that day on, Arabic Eggplant Salad became a staple in my cooking repertoire. I would often make it for family gatherings, potlucks, and special occasions. Each time I prepared the dish, I would think back to that warm summer day at Farah's house and the joy I felt when I first discovered this delicious recipe.

Over the years, I have made a few tweaks to the original recipe, adding my own touch with different herbs and spices. Sometimes I would incorporate roasted red peppers or toasted pine nuts for extra flavor and texture. But the essence of the dish – the smoky eggplant, the fresh herbs, and the tangy lemon – always remained the same.

I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition of Arabic Eggplant Salad to the next generation. And each time I make it, I am reminded of the joy and camaraderie that comes with sharing good food with loved ones.

So here it is, my beloved recipe for Arabic Eggplant Salad, a dish that holds a special place in my heart and on my table. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and that it brings you as much joy and satisfaction as it has brought me over the years. Bon appétit!


| Arabian Recipes | Arabian Salads | Chile Leaf Recipes | Eggplant Recipes |

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