( SERVES 4 )
Moussaka is generally associated with Greece, though it was the Arabs who brought eggplant to Greece. There are Turkish and other Middle Eastern versions, and this oddity: Mussak’kia. I published it in my first cookbook in 1986 and credit it as being an Arab form of moussaka. If I google the name now, up comes Kia, the car, so the origin is a bit murky. That aside, this is an interesting dish and well worth a try.
TIP: Garlicky minty yoghurt on top would add a fresh edge without increasing richness.
- Brown the cubed eggplants in batches in hot olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish. Transferring to a paper towel-lined plate as they are ready.
- Soften 2 large onions in olive oil in the same casserole dish, then return eggplant to casserole, mix with onions, add cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli and season well with salt and pepper.
- Add 2 cans of drained chickpeas, then 2 cans of chopped tomatoes in thick juice (Italian-style), and season again.
- Cook uncovered for 1 hour at 200°C. Cool to room temperature before serving. Top with basil leaves if desired.
Also see Julie's potato and eggplant moussaka