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Greek Moussaka

July 17, 2012

The word Moussaka is pronounced with a lovely Greek lilt. Greek food has very strong Mediterranean influences and flavours. Unfortunately, I have only been able to taste the Greek salad (which I absolutely LOVE, especially the goat’s cheese) and Moussaka. But, the elements are very similar to Lebanese food (which I’ve had a lot of).

I made Moussaka yesterday. The idea occurred to me last evening when I realized that I had these lovely plump, purple brinjals just sitting in my fridge. But, Ishaaq was least interested in any regular dish using the veggie. I’ll digress here a bit (please pardon). But, what is it with brinjals and people not liking them? Can anyone enlighten me? I love them. Their taste, color, texture and the hundred ways of preparation make it so versatile!

Anyway, so I racked my brains to figure out how to make the husband eat the veggies, and I instantly thought of Moussaka. My friend Shriyal’s mom had given me some ready-to-serve minced chicken (kheema) that added a whole new dimension to the dish. And, all I had to do was buy milk. Simple!

Now, Moussaka is a very simple casserole dish. And, the main elements can also be used to make a lasagne. There are three layers to the dish — the veggies, the meat-tomato sauce, and the bechamel sauce.

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Greek Chicken Moussaka
A layered casserole of minced meat, vegetables and white sauce...
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Bechamel Sauce
Meat Sauce
Vegetables
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Bechamel Sauce
Meat Sauce
Vegetables
Instructions
Bechamel Sauce
  1. Add butter in a thick bottomed pan. And, immediately add the flour (the trick here is to burn of the floury taste, so don’t let the butter brown). Whisk well to prevent any lumps.
  2. Then, add the milk little by little, while also whisking the mixture to ensure that no lumps are formed. Do this till the sauce is reduced to a, well, saucy consistency.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. And then add the grated cheese and let it melt into the mix.
  4. Once the sauce is done, you can add one whole egg and mix vigorously till well incorporated. Doing this when the sauce is hot ensures that the egg gets cooked well within the sauce. This entire process helps the top layer of white sauce hold itself together and not seep into the rest of the mixtures.
Meat Sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C. Put around 2-3 tbsp oil in a saucepan or wok. Fry the garlic and onions till translucent, add the powders and fry well.
  2. Then, add in the chopped tomatoes (if you’re using tomato paste, then add that before the fresh tomatoes to fry off the extra tanginess).
  3. Saute this till oil leaves the sides of the wok. Finally, add the kheema and the Italian herbs and salt as per taste. Keep aside.
Vegetables
  1. In the case of the brinjal, in order to get rid of the bitter, ‘iron’y taste, add salt to the slices at the very beginning. This will release the juices of the brinjal. Just before using, press the slices to remove as much water content as possible with a muslin cloth.
  2. After this, put some oil in a nonstick pan and fry the brinjal and potato slices till golden brown and add a little salt to the batches of fried veggies. You can also use a griddle pan for a charred taste and marks.
  3. To assemble, in a greased oven-proof dish, place half the brinjal and potatoes as the base layer. On top of this, put the red sauce. Layer that again with the veggies and then the red sauce. Once its all done, pour the white sauce right at the top and add grated cheese.
  4. Pop this into the oven at 180 degrees C for around 20 min till the cheese bubbles and then becomes a lovely golden-brown crust. Serve with garlic bread or any other bread of your choice.
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Chicken Cuisines Mains Uncategorized

Greek Chicken Moussaka

July 17, 2012

The word Moussaka is pronounced with a lovely Greek lilt. Greek food has very strong Mediterranean influences and flavours. Unfortunately, I have only been able to taste the Greek salad (which I absolutely LOVE, especially the goat’s cheese) and Moussaka. But, the elements are very similar to Lebanese food (which I’ve had a lot of). Continue Reading

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