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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Moussaka | Baked eggplant and mince in white sauce






Moussaka is an eggplant or potato based dish, baked along with meat and white sauce, topped with some grated cheese. Very popular dish in Middle east and Arab countries, each of them having their own variations. 

Here we will try to prepare in a very easy and convenient form. The meat is in the form of mince and will be cooked separately. The vegetables will be grilled and the all of it layered together, topped with white sauce and cheese and the finally baked just before serving.





Serves 6
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes (approx) 

Ingredients

  • 1 large size eggplant
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 500 gms mutton mince (or beef) cooked.
  • 2 to 3 cups white sauce
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt
  • Crushed black pepper.

Method:

1) Wash the eggplant and potatoes, peel and cut into thick slices. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, red chili powder and black pepper powder. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside. (bake potatoes and eggplant separately). While baking the vegetables, you can cook the mince.




2) Preheat the oven at 250 degrees C.

3) Layer the cooked mince in an oven proof baking dish which can also be used as a serving dish. Place the grilled eggplant and potato slices over the mince. Pour out the white sauce evenly over the veggies and then generously sprinkle the grated cheese. Finally sprinkle chili flakes, oregano and butter. Also you can use olive oil instead of butter.  Bake for 10 to 20 minutes or till the cheese on top melts with a nice golden color.






How to cook mince?

  1. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a sauce pan and add 2 tbsp chopped garlic and fry till it just turns color. 
  2. Then add 1 chopped onion and fry till it is transparent. Add 1 tomato chopped and fry till soft. 
  3. Now add 500 gms mince and cook on high flame for 1 minute.
  4. Add 1 tbsp black pepper powder, 1 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp cumin powder,1 tsp sugar,1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato puree and Salt . Fry all for 2 minutes on medium heat till it looks like a sauce.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or till mince is fully cooked. Finally add spring onion and cook for 1 more minute.
Note: You can prepare mince in any style you like. Indian preparation will also go well with this dish.

How to make white sauce?

You can buy the ready made "bechamel mix" and prepare it according to the instructions given on the packet.

OR

  1. Heat 1 tbsp butter and and add 1 tbsp of plain flour. Fry for few seconds.
  2. On low flame slowly add 1 cup warm milk. 
  3. Keep stirring with a whisk as you add milk to avoid any lumps.
  4. Cook until the sauce thickens. Add salt and black pepper powder. When it starts to boil switch off the gas and let it cool for sometime.
  5. If the sauce becomes too thick add more warm milk to make it into pouring consistency. 
  6. This will give you 1 cup of white sauce. Double the quantity for 2 cups.

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