Musaka (moussaka): how to make the Greek eggplant cake

The musaka is a traditional Greek dish, purely Mediterranean, that combines different ingredients. It also extends to other countries in the Middle East, and the general basis of its preparation are aubergines, minced lamb, tomato, covered in a white sauce (bechamel, usually) and baked with cheese that is usually melted and toasted.

The word is of Arabic origin and comes from saqqa'a, 'freeze, turn white', but came to the languages ​​of Western Europe through the Greek.

It usually has the shape of a cake, something similar to lasagna, but the important touch is the star ingredient that can not be missed: the eggplant. It is usually served in a clay pot to preserve the heat, although it can be taken cold if you want it in hotter times.

A moussaka dish can have about 520 calories per serving and 31 g of fat, but it is a nutritious dish that carries healthy and light ingredients.

How to make musaka (Greek eggplant cake)

There are different varieties, depending on the country of origin, but the Greek version is the best known by all. And in this the normal thing is to do it with 3 layers.

In the lower part there are some slices of aubergines that are fried before; in the middle, the second layer is filled with minced lamb or beef and tomato; and the top layer is the one that corresponds to the bechamel, with cheese sprinkled on top. Everything is baked in the oven and served.

In Greece itself the musaka can also include other ingredients such as zucchini, potatoes or mushrooms. And during Lent it can be made without meat and sauces, based only on vegetables, tomatoes and breadcrumbs.

When we talk about other versions, like Serbian or Bulgarian, then there are usually potatoes instead of eggplants. While the top layer is usually a mixture of milk or cream, and egg.

Eggplant, main ingredient of musaka

The aubergine contains 92% water in its composition. It has minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and iron, while it contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and folates.

It helps reduce cholesterol and prevent arteriosclerosis. It also reduces blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for diabetics.

Some recipes

It always depends on the number of guests and ingredients that you want to add or remove. But the most classic recipe leads:

Ingredients

  • 6 eggplants.
  • 300 grams of minced lamb meat.
  • 150 grams of grated cheese that can be melted.
  • Fresh eggs
  • Tomato, salsa or we will prepare it ourselves.
  • Basil.
  • Onion.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Preparation

  1. Wash, peel and cut the aubergines. We'll scald them in boiled water. Then we will salt them and fry them in the pan with olive oil.
  2. Fry the onion in the paella and add the minced meat. We let them be made and cooked, while we are pouring salt and nutmeg. We also add grated cheese to the mix.
  3. We mount the musaka in layers in a tray that will serve us, then, to put it in the oven. First we put a layer of aubergines cut into strips, then the meat preparation, the tomato, we will beat the eggs and we will pour them on the last layer.
  4. Finally, we will place the bechamel and grated cheese. Then put it in the oven for about half an hour until it is golden and serve.

Differences between lasagna and musaka

They are two very similar dishes, but there are differences between them. As we have indicated, musaka has its origin in Greece, while lasagna does not have a clear origin although Italy could be the place where it was born.

The musaka is prepared with lamb meat, the lasagna can carry meat of various types and especially different vegetables, while the base of the musaka is eggplant. The lasagna is made with slices of pasta that are interspersed with the meat, plus the béchamel sauce and some vegetables.

They are similar in that they also have different layers, vegetables and ingredients are very Mediterranean, they are made with bechamel (the musaka not always), with tomato, grated cheese and left to cook in the oven until the cheese melts. They are dishes that are taken very well and are in the diet of many people because of their high nutritional value. ThemesCake recipes

How to Make Greek Moussaka (June 2022)