Melitzanes moussaka

Melitzanes moussaka

Eggplant moussaka

The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Alan Benson


Quantity Ingredient
1kg eggplants
salt, for sprinkling
olive oil, for brushing

Meat sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1kg minced beef or lamb
250g tomatoes, chopped and peeled
2 tablespoons tomato paste
125ml white wine
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Béchamel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
60g butter
50g plain flour
500ml milk
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
25g kefalotiri or parmesan cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten


  1. Wash the eggplants. Leaving the skin on, cut them into 5 mm slices. Sprinkle the slices with salt and leave for 1 hour. Dry with paper towels.
  2. Place a layer of the eggplant on an oiled baking tray and brush with oil. Lightly brown under a hot grill; turn, brush again with oil and brown the other side. (Alternatively, the eggplant may be pan-fried in oil; however, the grilling method stops the eggplant absorbing excessive oil.) Stack the slices on a plate when cooked.
  3. To make the meat sauce, heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. Add the meat and brown over high heat, stirring well. Add the remaining ingredients, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the milk all at once and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Let the sauce bubble gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, stir in the nutmeg and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Season to taste. Cover the top of the sauce with buttered greaseproof paper if not required immediately.
  6. Grease a 23 × 33 × 5 cm baking dish. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the base, then top with half the meat sauce. Add another layer of eggplant, then the remaining meat sauce. Finish with a third layer of eggplant.
  7. Stir the beaten egg into the béchamel sauce and spread it over the moussaka. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Allow the moussaka to stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Middle Eastern
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