Moussaka is classic casserole made by layering a bed of potatoes, eggplant with spiced meat filling topping it off with white sauce (creamy béchamel sauce) and bake to golden perfection. It is said that Moussaka is the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes and was made famous by the legendary Greek Chef. Moussaka made with eggplant is the traditional version, but this can also be layered with potatoes, zucchini or whatever vegetables you prefer to make a refreshing and filling dish where you may also not need other side dishes.
The preparation time for making the Moussaka may be a bit more but once complete, it’s truly a worthwhile endeavor. This is a very popular dish in Balkan and Mediterranean cuisines with many local and regional variations. The Moussaka is absolutely a very delicious casserole with different flavours amalgamated into one dish, combining to create a luscious and mouth-watering pizza like experience. This is an excellent side dish or a stomach filling entrée.
Eggplants/ Brinjals or Aubergines are generally a turnover ingredient by kids. They often hate eating any type of eggplant or brinjal curry but with a little effort and brilliant variation given, this Moussaka dish surely would turn out to be the most delicious and crunchy snack that kids would crave for. A slice of eggplant, potato and minced meat spiced together and baked with cheese makes a zesty, juicy and crunchy delight to the taste buds.
Eggplant Eggplant is also known as Brinjal or Aubergine and is a common vegetable in most Indian recipes and Mediterranean traditional diets. It is thought that the name eggplant suggests that the first varieties of this veggie was introduced to Europe were small fruited and egg-shaped. The French name aubergine is adapted from Arabic via the Spanish berenjena and its affiliated Indian name brinjal. There are varieties of Eggplants available in different shapes and colour such as elongated, long, round, deep purple, light green, coloured varieties.
In Asia a much wider range of eggplant exists, with great variation in size, shape and colour. When raw, the eggplant does not have any taste, but after cooking it absorbs the flavours well into and becomes very delicious and appetizing. Normally the raw eggplant has a somewhat bitter taste but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich and complex flavour. Many recipes suggest salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced eggplant as this softens and reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking and mainly remove the bitterness too.
Versatility of Eggplant The eggplants are widely used in a lot of Indian recipes. Some popular Indian dishes with eggplant include curries, sambar and chutneys. The eggplant/ vankaya is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and spices, for making very rich dishes. It can also be used as a meat substitute in vegetarian cuisine due to its texture and bulky soft flesh. Eggplant is also extensively used in various other cuisines globally.
Eggplant is broadly used in Indian cuisine. Owing to its versatile nature and wide use in everyday meals and festive Indian food, it is often describes as the “king of vegetables”. In a dish called Bharli Vangi (Stuffed brinjals), a popular Maharashtrian side dish made with brinjal stuffed with a spicy mixture made from coconut, peanuts and masala and then cooked in oil. Eggplant is used for making other mouth-watering within the global cooking especially used for preparing the Ratatouille (brinjal stew).
How to prepare Moussaka:
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp
- Garlic, chopped - 1 tsp
- Onion, chopped - 1 no
- Meat, minced - 500 gms
- Tomato concasse - ½ cup
- All spicy powder - 1 tsp
- Cinnamon powder - ½ tsp
- Pepper powder - 2 tsp
- Red Wine - ½ cup
- Salt - to taste
- Parsley - 1 tsp
- Sugar - a pinch
- Butter - 3 tbsp
- All-purpose flour - 1 cup
- Milk - 2 cups
- Nutmeg powder - a pinch
- Cheese - 2 tbsp
- Egg yolk - 2 nos
- Eggplant - 3 nos
- Potato - 3 nos
- Heat olive oil in a pan add chopped garlic, chopped onion, salt, mince meat, tomatoes concasse (boiled and remove the skin) cook for few minutes, and add all spicy powder, cinnamon powder, pepper powder, red wine, parsley, and add sugar cook it for few minutes.
- Heat butter in another pan, add all purpose flour; cook it in a slow flame till raw flavor is gone, add milk mix it well and add pepper powder, nutmeg powder, salt, cheese, and egg yolk, mix it well, switch off the flame.
- First cut the egg plant, and potato into thin slices, and fry them.
- Take bowl add bread crumb, pepper powder, salt, mix this.
- Take a large deep casserole sprinkle the bread crumbs in the bottom of pan and then place a layer of fried potato pieces, then sprinkle the bread crumb and place a layer of fried egg plant pieces, and spread mince meat,on top of this, put the potato pieces, and eggplant pieces, mince meat, white sauce, sprinkle the bread crumb, and cheese on top of them and bake for 20minutes.
- Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Do discover and refresh yourself by starting off preparing this flavourful and yummy Moussaka to keep your family and kids in high spirits. I am sure that you all will be enthralled in preparing exotic and yummy Brinjal recipes and delight your family and friends with joy.
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