This eggplant moussaka is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe that my friend Arwa and I made while we were completing our masters program at NYU. I love hosting friends over for dinner and find it so much fun to cook together and share recipes. We made this moussaka using ground lamb meat, roasted eggplant and tomato sauce. If you are not a big fan of lamb meat, feel free to use grass-fed beef. This moussaka is low in carbs and high in protein, making it the perfect meal for someone who is watching their figure.
- 3 medium eggplants, cut in 1 inch circles
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp salt
- cooking spray (olive oil or coconut)
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp nut meg
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 18 oz. jar crushed tomatoes (I like to use Jovial)
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp shredded cheese
- 1 5.3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp mint, chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Trader Joe’s everything but the bagel seeds
- STEP 1. Preheat oven to 400 F or 200 C.
- STEP 2. As you slice the eggplant, place it in a large mixing bowl and cover with water and a little salt. This will prevent the eggplant from turning brown.
- STEP 3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Dry the eggplant with paper towels and line the eggplant on top of the baking sheet. Spray eggplant with a little more cooking spray and sprinkle a little sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes.
- STEP 4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add the lamb meat and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until browned. Break up the meat using two wooden spatulas.
- STEP 5. Add the onion, garlic and continue cooking for a minute, until the onion is translucent. Add in all the spices and reduce heat to medium. Cook for a minute or two until spices absorb.
- STEP 6. Add in the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and add the parsley.
- STEP 7. Line a pyrex glass dish (2 quart) with eggplant slices and top with sauce. Repeat these layers until the sauce is gone.
- STEP 8. Top with shredded cheese and cover with foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve with yogurt sauce or tzatziki.
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