Egyptian Moussaka

egyptian-moussaka

This month the MENA Cooking Club‘s country was Egypt. Our lovely host was Amira from Arabian Mama who just so happens to be Egyptian so I knew we would get some great recipes. I went with the main dish option which was moussaka since it’s already a family favorite. Here in Saudi this dish is always made and usually served as a side sometimes with the meat and other times without. Actually a lot of Saudis make Egyptian dishes and they are pretty much as traditional here as they are in their own country.

Some people add Bechamel sauce on the top, but I opted not to, but I do like it. I was just tying to make this dish a lit bit healthier without the added sauce, baking instead of frying and olive oil in place of butter. I also prefer to use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned versions. I think a lot of cooking blogs these days are just filled with recipes that have tons of processed or canned foods and it’s really not healthy. It’s very rare that I buy anything canned and I love that the tomato paste here is not canned like back home. If you do use beef in place of lamb do not forget to drain the fat out of the meat after cooking it.

2 eggplants, cut in 1-inch slices (peel every other section)
Olive oil
1 pound ground lamb
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 white onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
5 tomatoes (2 diced and the remaining sliced)
3 tablespoons tomato paste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place eggplant slices on a baking sheet and brush olive oil all over the tops. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, then flip and cook other side for another 10 minutes.

2. In a saute pan on medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add lamb and cook until no longer pink. Dice two tomatoes and add into pan. Add tomato paste and 1/4 cup water, mix. Add coriander, salt and pepper to taste, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350F. In a casserole pan, add a scoop of meat sauce making sure the bottom is covered. Add a layer of eggplants, tomatoes and then meat mixture. Continue layering until the top is covered with eggplants and tomato slices.

4. Cover top with foil and place into the oven for 15 minutes, uncover and bake for remaining 10 minutes. Serve!

Yields: 4-6 servings

24 Comments

  • madiha says:

    Assalamo alaikum,
    i have never made moussaka before but your dish looks really tempting sister i will surely give it a try in sha Allah!!

    • Maryam says:

      Masha Allah you made a potentially fatty dish into a health nutritious one.
      I love the presentation, well done!

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam, I never eat eggplants, but when I cook this dish and I love it. It’s one of the best you should try it.

    • Noor says:

      Thank you Maryam I always try to make things a bit healthier.

  • Umm Hamza says:

    As-Salaamu Alaykum Noor,
    Very inviting dish, i like that you didn’t cover it with bechamel – you now see all the ingredients that make it. Baarak Allahu Feeki

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alayum Salam, My mother in law always makes it this way and I love it, so I thought I better stick to what I know.

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  • Carrie says:

    This looks so pretty! I like your healthier version, especially the fresh tomatoes.

  • snehadatar says:

    A yummy looking dish, very inviting. Thank you Noor for making me part of this group and giving me chance to try all dishes which other wise I would never attempt. Loved this months challenge. Looking forward for some more interesting recipes of other countries..

    • Noor says:

      We love having you and thank you for being part of all of this with us. It is so much fun getting to know all you great ladies and seeing how we all make the same thing in a unique way.

  • Henia says:

    Salaamu aleikoum Noor, Thank you again for organizing this event and also for sharing this very easy and earthy dish!

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam, thank you for much for taking part in it and your dish was amazing as usual.

    • Henia says:

      Salaamu aleikoum Noor, BarakAllahu fiki. I’ve learned alot from you actually, with all the tips you share :)

    • Noor says:

      Thank you dear and what a jewel your blog is as well.

  • Joanne T Ferguson says:

    G’day Noor! Thank you for overseeing these fun challenges monthly!
    Your dish looks delish and wish I could try some now!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What’s On The List

    • Noor says:

      Thank you so much and this is one of my favorite recipes and funny enough the ONLY way I will eat eggplants lol.

  • I am a big fan of moussaka but an Egyptian version is a first. Looks amazing. Another great month.

  • Amira says:

    Assalam Alaykom Noor,
    This is a lovely adaptation of the original dish. Thanks you for trying our food this month and thanks for your sweet words dear I do appreciate it.

    • Noor says:

      Wa Alaykum Salam dear I have been thinking about you and your family.

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  • Tracey says:

    Catching up on your blog here. My Saudi “son” (exchange student) made his mom’s version of this. Until his and yours, I’d only seen the hot Greek or cold Levant-style salad version of this. He puts a layer of potatoes in it, no bechamel or qafta (the same as your recipe) but he does top it with cheese–his own twist. It’s good, for those who can do potatoes!

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