For the majority of, the word Moussaka invokes pictures of layers of fried eggplant, juicy minced beef and in some cases even a layer of creamy bechamel sauce baked to perfection. The moussaka that I am sharing with you today (as you have actually most likely thought by looking at the photo) is a various variation of Moussaka. It is vegetarian and it is popular in parts of the middle east like Iraq and Egypt. It goes by the name Tipsi in Iraq and Moussaka in Egypt and in it the eggplant is usually cut into cubes, fried and then it is prepared in a tomato sauce with green peppers and other veggies (most frequently potatoes).
Various spices are contributed to raise a simple mix of veggies to an addicting mix of textures, colors and flavors. The frying softens the eggplant to the point of creaminess, the peppers include a pop of color and texture as they hold up much better to frying. The tomato sauce is really the star here. The spice blend, vinegar and sugar make it complex with layers of flavor, the ideal canvass for the velvety eggplant and green peppers.
This vegetarian moussaka is in fact popular street food in Egypt. It is typically served alongside falafel and foul for breakfast. It is likewise utilized as a filling for sandwiches, popular amongst students looking for a quick meal on the go.
Egyptian vegetarian moussaka
1 kg eggplants
1 kg green pepper
3 chili peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1. Cut the eggplants into medium-sized cubes (Don’t peel the eggplants, the peel includes color and taste).
2. Fry the eggplant cubes in veggie oil till golden brown, drain, set aside.
3. Cut the pepper into cubes and fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes
To prepare the sauce:
1. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pot and saute the garlic until aromatic
2. Include the tomato sauce, catsup, chopped tomatoes, sugar with a quarter cup of water. 3. 3. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
4. Add the spices, eggplants, peppers, and stir.
5. Shut off the heat, cover the pot and leave it aside for a minimum of 10- 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend
6. Add the vinegar and stir. Now your moussaka is all set for serving.
7. Serve with pita bread and french fries
— This variation of moussaka can be eaten hot or cold.
— Some like to add cubes of fried potatoes to the eggplants and green peppers while others see that it may impact the final taste and choose to serve the fries on the side. Try it both methods and decide for your self which version tastes better.