Moroccan Eggplant Jam


I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that by posting this recipe I feel like a preserver of culture in my own small way. I am excited about that but at the same time baffled at how such a precious delicacy was let slip away. This recipe was enjoyed at the time of my grandparents and great grandparents but no one seems to make it anymore. Many Moroccans of my generation have never had or heard of it. I feel like I’m bringing back a treasure lost and forgotten in time. Abandoned by most Moroccans, it has however been preserved by the Jewish community in Morocco. It is called confiture d’aubergines in French and murabba braniya in Arabic.

At first eggplant and jam didn’t quite click in my head. The two have actually never even met in my thoughts, let alone mingle or get along. I’m used to eating my eggplant either lemony or garlicky. I love my zaalouk and thought nothing else could compare or measure up to it anyway. A voice in my head kept urging me to give eggplant jam a chance and I’m so glad I did. I simply loved it. I am now officially in love with it. It’s a true delicacy that suitably tastes of another era. The eggplant is hardly recognizable when it’s cooked and all you get is this very smooth and silky paste that could have been pumpkin, quince or apricot.

If the eggplants are really small, you could keep them whole when making the jam. Enjoy this eggplant jam as a spread on bread or alongside chicken or kebabs. It will provide a nice contrast.

Eggplant Jam Recipe

Yields 1 cup

1 ¼ pounds eggplant, peeled and cubed

½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups water

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Place the eggplants in a pot and cover them with water. Cover the pot with a lid and cook over medium heat until the eggplants are very soft, about 20 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Place the drained eggplants in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar and water. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the water is evaporated and the eggplants mushy and dark, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and ginger. Let cool.

Transfer the jam into a jar, cover and store in the refrigerator.


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20 Responses to “Moroccan Eggplant Jam”

  1. 1

    Susan — 03/10/2011 @ 11:57 am

    Very interesting ingredients, Nisrine. I actually would love to taste this. For those gardeners with an abundance..what a lovely recipe. Thank you for preserving the old.

  2. 2

    Sharizat — 03/10/2011 @ 4:18 pm

    confiture d'aubergines is very unusual! nice post, Nisrine

  3. 3

    lacaffettierarosa — 03/10/2011 @ 5:40 pm

    What a treasure you are sharing today! I am a huge fan of aubergines so anything with them will thrill me. You know, in Sicily they make a couple of sweet dishes with aubergine, often paired with chocolate. I've always meant to try them…

  4. 4

    Bridgett ~ La Bella Cook — 03/10/2011 @ 6:37 pm

    A friend of mine sent me a book with Moroccan dishes along with other Arabic dishes and I noticed how many dishes actually have eggplant in them. It is wonderful since I love it, so I will be adding this to the list!

  5. 5

    Barbara — 03/10/2011 @ 9:49 pm

    If we can make a great jam out of onions, surely eggplant will work as well! I'm copying this unusual recipe right now, Nisrine. Be such fun to surprise people with it!

  6. 6

    Rebecca from Chow and Chatter — 03/10/2011 @ 11:31 pm

    wow we all so appreciate you sharing your family treasures with us this looks amazing

  7. 7

    teresa — 03/11/2011 @ 12:12 am

    this is awesome, and it looks so good!

  8. 8

    Diana's Cocina — 03/11/2011 @ 3:50 am

    I adore eggplants ~ My husband thinks I'm weird, it's not one of his favorite. Thank you for sharing.

  9. 9

    Meeta K. Wolff — 03/11/2011 @ 7:57 am

    UMM! This is incredibly delicious! Thanks for sharing this incredible looking treasure you have!

  10. 10

    Jamie — 03/11/2011 @ 11:19 am

    This is really intriguing! It looks much like my Baba Ganoush but sweet? Seriously interesting and I would love to taste it. And yay for preserving culture, more people should!

  11. 11

    Warda — 03/11/2011 @ 2:45 pm

    I usually make zaalouk with eggplants. This is an interesting recipe I've never seen before, especially with the addition of brown sugar. I'm bookmarking this recipe for when eggplant season is here in Michigan.

  12. 12

    Reeni — 03/11/2011 @ 2:53 pm

    This is so unique Nisrine! I never had eggplant with any sort of sweet flavor to it – would love to try it!

  13. 13

    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate — 03/11/2011 @ 3:08 pm

    Fascinating! I too know Baba Ganoush but have not had an eggplant jam. Thank you for introducing me to a whole new flavor concept.

  14. 14

    Velva — 03/12/2011 @ 12:54 am

    Although, making an eggplant jam would never have occurred to me…With some thought, I realize a flavorful jam could be made with such an odd ingredient. Eggplants are a very mild and absorb almost any flavor…In the summer months, eggplant can be the gift that keeps on giving. Making them abundant. Very cool.

    Awesome post. Cheers to re-discovering your family food history.

    Velva

  15. 15

    We Are Not Martha — 03/12/2011 @ 1:46 am

    I would NEVER think of this on my own.. But it actually sounds quite delightful. I love eggplant and baba ganoush and this looks so unique and pretty :)

    Sues

  16. 16

    Melody Fury // GourmetFury.com — 03/12/2011 @ 4:42 am

    There are very few grey foods that can look this good. I'd love to try this out sometime!

  17. 17

    ann@Apples and Twinkies — 03/12/2011 @ 4:44 am

    This truly looks wonderful. I'm bookmarking this.

  18. 18

    A Canadian Foodie — 03/12/2011 @ 1:19 pm

    Love eggplant, Nisrine. The recipe looks pretty darn simple. Great rethinking of an old vegetable.
    :)
    Valerie

  19. 19

    Cara — 03/15/2011 @ 1:26 am

    I could totally get on board with this sweet eggplant spread. Glad to hear "my people" have helped keep this going!

  20. 20

    Magic of Spice — 03/16/2011 @ 8:13 pm

    I had to save this, just a wonderful recipe…

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