Sunday, August 7, 2011

Musakka, However You Spell it and Make it, It's a Hit!

Since musakka isn't an English word, it can be spelled all different ways.
The name comes from the Arabic: مسقعة‎ musaqqaʿa 'chilled'.[2][3] This name is used in Turkish (musakka), Greek (μουσακάς), and the South Slavic languages (musaka/мусака). Other languages call it simply "eggplant casserole" (e.g. Hungarian rakott padlizsán).
And it can also be prepared innumerable ways.  I'm pretty new to cooking/baking it, but consider me an enthusiastic convert.  This one just has a layer of light green squash (I think they call it Mexican squash in Arizona,) a layer of eggplant, then chopped (ground) turkey or chicken flavored with tomato paste, an egg, onions and spices, and on top is another layer of eggplant as you can see.  I dribbled a bit of oil on that top layer, because I didn't want it to dry out in the oven.  I baked it uncovered, then covered in a hot oven until it "seemed" done.

A great advantage of musakka is that it's baked and served in the same pan.  It also includes both vegetables and animal protein.  You can make it "meatier" or more "vegetarian," low fat.  For a very simple meal, just serve with a fresh salad.  Since I eat a high proportion of vegetables at each meal, I served it with another vegetable dish plus the salad.  (That's how I've kept the weight off, since I lost over thirty pounds -15 kilo- a couple of years ago.)


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

We don't love eggplant, but someone brought us what she called "mussaka" last week. Hers had no eggplant, nad it was more like scalloped potatoes with ground turkey. But everybody loved it! I think I will experiment, maybe use zucchini in place of the eggplant, because this does seem like a very versatile dish.

Batya said...

Basically, it's layered vegetables with some tomato sauce or very ripe tomatoes instead. be creative

Leah, Maaleh Adumim said...

in the US, where the eggplant is sometimes bitter (and no, soaking and/or salting it doesn't help) zucchini is a good substitute.

Batya said...

Leah, here in Israel I don't taste the need to salt it, B"H. Food is so much better and fresher here, even from the supermarket. I generally buy my eggplant at Rami Levy.