Egyptian Vegetable Musaqaa - Meatless - Vegetarian

This month in Mena's Cooking Club our host Amira  choose three  dishes an Egyptian Musaqaa and Egyptian Lentil Soup.  For the sweet Omm Ali. I was so excited to read the dishes chosen by Amira, it was at that moment that I decided that must prepare both a non - vegetarian and vegetarian musaqqa version .  This vegetarian dish I, prepared on the weekend since its hubby dear day of rest.  So here is a vegetarian version for my hubby as he must taste this awesome dish. 

Moussaka is an eggplant or potato-based dish in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variations. The English name for moussaka comes from modern Greek mousakás (μουσακάς), which entered Greek from the Turkish musakka,which itself came from Arabic musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة), meaning "chilled". Most versions are based primarily on sautéed eggplant and tomato, usually with minced meat.

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant and potaotes with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.It's rich and filling so you won't need many side dishes.  I prepared two musaqaa's , one with chicken and this a meatless musaqaa for hubby dear a vegetarian.

It can be time consuming to prepare, I think you will find that once complete it is a very worthwhile effort.

2 Eggplants (Brinjals)
1 Cup Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) - boiled
2 Large Potatoes
2 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 Onion -  diced
2 Flakes Garlic  -  minced

3 Large Tomatoes - peeled and pureed
1 Tomato -skinned & chopped finely
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin

1 Teaspoon Parsely - I used dried.
Salt and pepper to taste

100 Grams Feta Cheese - crumbled
3/4 Cup grated Parmesan/ Cheezaa cheese  
1 Cup Breadcrumbs - seasoned
3 Eggs -  separated (reserve yolks for Bechamel)

For the Seasoned breadcrumbs
Remove the sides of the bread with a kitchen scissor, cut into small pieces and powder them in a mixer.  To this add a teaspoon pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Mix well 

To prepare Bechamel Egg Sauce
In the bechamel sauce add a pinch of ground nutmeg and the 3 egg yolks and beat well.  Keep aside. 
Prepare the vegetables

Soak the chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) overnight and then boil.  Then drain and rinse them, keep aside. 
Slice the eggplant in 1/4 inch round slices and place them in a colander and salt them liberally. Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out for at least 10 minutes.

Peel the potatoes, slice them in 1/4 inch round slices and immerse them in salt water for about 10 minutes.

In a non-stick griddle heat a little olive oil and place eggplants and fry them on both sides on high heat till brown spots appear. Remove and keep aside in a plate. Like-wise fry the potatoes in same way till brown on both sides. Remove and keep aside in a plate. 

Make the Chickpea layer
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add chickpeas with chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cinnamon, oregano, parsely, cumin, salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer uncovered so that there is no liquid. When completely dry switch off the flame and add the crumbled feta cheese.  Keep this aside 

Assemble the Moussaka
Lightly grease a baking pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with seasoned breadcrumbs.

Place the bottom of the pan with a layer of potatoes. Top with a layer of eggplant slices.Add garbanzo beans layer on top then the bechamel egg sauce, sprinkle with grated cheese.
Sprinkle a little oregano, parsley and cinnamon powder on top. Add seasoned bread crumbs on top. Then with another layer of potato and eggplant slices and garbanzo beans sprinkle once again bechamel egg sauce with bread crumbs, grated cheese. Sprinkle a little oregano, parsley and cinnamon powder on top. 
Cover with aluminium foil and bake in a preheated at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. After its baked remove the foil and keep it on broil for 2 minutes for even browning. 
Serve it warm or chilled. We had this for your lunch and enjoyed it. 
My daughter's enjoyed both this and non veg. Hubby dear simply loved this. Yes this is really an awesome dish. 
Check to see what the other members are doing here.

My Notes: 

Use this as a base and experiment with your own flavor/spice combinations.   
For the non - vegetarian version see here
Labels: Continental Cuisine, Vegetable, Healthy, Mena Cooking Club

Sneha's Recipe
Sneha's Recipe

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. I love all versions of this dish and yours looks great. I am glad that you enjoyed it.

  2. wow what a great spread all your dishes look delicious!!!

  3. Looks delicious! I like your veggie version.

  4. Salaamu aleikoum, I'm loving your veg version of this moussaka. I def will be trying out your recipe!

  5. G'day This looks delish and wish I could try now! Nice to meet you through MENA!
    Congrats on completing this month's Egyptian challenge too!
    Cheers! Joanne @What's On The List

  6. Looks interesting!! I've never seen Chickpeas in Musakaa before. This is a new variation for me. Thanks for trying your hands in this recipe too.