Bubala’s fried aubergine with date syrup and zhoug

This fried aubergine dressed with zhoug and date syrup from Bubala is crisp on the outside and moussaka-like in the middle

Bubala’s fried aubergine with date syrup and zhoug

Serves 4

Preparation time 50 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Bubala in Spitalfields has very quickly found itself at the epicentre of trendy vegetarian restaurants in London. For good reason, too. Just read our review of it here.

This recipe for fried aubergine with date syrup and zhoug is a prime example of how vegetarian cooking can be quick, easy, and completely delicious. Try this one out as a starter at your next dinner party.


  • 2 aubergines
  • 50ml date syrup

For the zhoug:

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 green chillis
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 300ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp hawaij spice mix (or ras el hanout)
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maldon sea salt


  1.  Cut aubergine into 2cm discs and toss in a bowl with 1tbsp maldon salt. Leave for 45 mins until the liquid is drawn out.
  2. While this is happening you can make your zhoug. Pulse the garlic and chilli in the blender until finely chopped. Roughly chop the coriander and pulse, and then add the oil in two batches whilst pulsing. You want the sauce to be combined but not fully emulsified.
  3. Season with the spices, lemon and salt.
  4. Rinse and squeeze out remaining moisture from the aubergine.
  5. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a pan and deep fry in batches until golden.
  6. Transfer to serving plate and drizzle over zhoug and date syrup.

Recipe from Bubala