Introduction: Egyptian Moussaka: a Family Recipe

Picture of Egyptian Moussaka: a Family Recipe
Grilled eggplant, roasted garlic, and thick meat sauce all come together to make a dish that has been passed down in my family for generations. Best served with rice or thick bread, this moussaka recipe will become a fast favorite!

This is a comprehensive list of ingredients for all steps, and they will be repeated in each individual step.

Eggplant

  • 3 eggplants
  • Olive oil

Meat Sauce

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lb of minced meat
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cinammon
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • 1 12 oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Shredded mozzarella

Step 1: Grilling the Eggplant

Picture of Grilling the Eggplant

While many traditional recipes call for fried eggplant, it tends to be very heavy and oily. So my family has always grilled the eggplant instead, making it a healthier alternative.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggplants
  • Olive oil

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350℃
  2. Wash the eggplants with soap and water, and rinse thoroughly
  3. Using a long, sharp knife cut the green tips off of the top of the eggplants and discard
  4. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1 inch slices
  5. Using a rubber brush, coat both sides of each slice with olive oil until both sides are yellowish in color
  6. Line the slices on a wide baking sheet making sure not to overlap
  7. Put the pan in the oven and leave for 30 minutes - the eggplant should be soft in the center and should have turned a light brown color

Step 2: Cooking Minced Meat

Picture of Cooking Minced Meat

The meat and the sauce are cooked separately and then combined. The meat will take longer to cook so start this step first.

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 lbs of minced meat
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Cut onion into ¼ inch cubes and set aside
  2. Peel and mash garlic cloves until it is a thick paste. Use a pinch of salt when mashing to make it easier
  3. In a large pot, pour enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom. Turn element to medium heat
  4. Pour onions and garlic into the pot and cook until onions become golden yellow and soft
  5. Rinse the minced meat and then place into the pot on top of the onions and garlic
  6. Use a potato masher to mince the meat as it cooks, making sure to continuously press the masher into the meat
  7. Add cinnamon. Add salt and pepper to taste
  8. The meat is cooked when it is has turned brown. Once this happens, turn off the heat and set aside

Step 3: Making Tomato Sauce

Picture of Making Tomato Sauce

This can be started on a separate element while the meat is cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 12 oz can of tomato paste
  • 3 cans of water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Using a can opener, open the can of tomato paste and spoon into a large pot
  2. Fill the now empty can completely with water and then pour into the pot. Do this three times
  3. Turn the stove on medium heat and stir until the sauce becomes consistent and thick
  4. Place both bouillon cubes into the pot, and mix until they have dissolved
  5. Add thyme and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Once the sauce boils, turn off the heat
  7. Pour sauce into the pot with the minced meat and mix

Step 4: Putting Everything Together

Picture of Putting Everything Together

Now all the individual elements are finished, so the only step left is to put them all together!

Ingredients

  • Grilled eggplant
  • Meat sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350℃
  2. In a 9 x 13 inch glass pan, cover the bottom with a thin layer of meat sauce
  3. Place a layer of grilled eggplant on top, and then add another layer of meat sauce. Continue until all the slices of eggplant have been used
  4. End with a layer of meat sauce
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese until it fully covers the sauce
  6. Place in oven for 45 minutes. You will know it is done when the cheese has melted and has turned light brown along the edges. The eggplant should be soft and easy to cut.

This dish can be served with rice or thick bread, and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. A warm, rich, and healthy meal, moussaka will become one of your favorite comfort foods! Enjoy!

Comments

Swansong (author)2017-10-26

I love eggplant! This looks awesome :)

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