Moussaka essentially is a layered meal, with brinjal at the bottom, toppled mince thereafter and then the thickish sauce poured over and rounded up with sprinkling of cheese and breadcrumbs to complete the layered dish. I instead melded the veggies into the mince, so that there would be no resistance from separating veg from meat in our home once we tucked in. Better Half is not a veggie-fan at all! I keep trying though to introduce this healthy food essential into our eating..
I chopped-and-changed a number of things that were spelled out in the ingredients and especially the method, so please refer to the original recipe should you wish to attempt the one in The Book (page 52). Referring to the original recipe too will give you a good gauge with spicing and seasoning quantities.
My version went like this:– Top and tail washed brinjal/aubergine/eggplant (I used 3 baby sized ones) and slice into half-inch cuts. Sprinkle with coarse salt and set aside for a short while (half an hour). I’m not sure what’s the purpose of this, but did so at the time… – In the meanwhile, add washed mince (I used steak mince, 250g) + half an onion, sliced + some ghee/oil to a pot and set to heat and braise until cooked and dry(ish). – Have ready to add: 1-2 cups of pulverized fresh tomatoes (I love a moist mince curry) + just under a 1/4 cup tomato puree (especially for colour) + few squirts of lemon juice + salt + white pepper + wet red masala + dhana powder. Allow to simmer until well combined, rightly textured and still quite moist. You then have your mince component ready.. – While the mince is simmering to completion, saute the sliced brinjal in some olive oil (I cut them further into inconspicuous wedges so that carnivorous-Better Half would still enjoy the meal 😉 ) and also added in some sliced green pepper. Saute until cooked but not entirely softened. Drain well and stir into mince. (The recipe suggests layering the brinjal – I instead tossed the veggies into the mince mixture so that Better Half wouldn’t fuss about the brinjal, and also the way I sliced and prepared it made it easy to cross-over to brinjals for one’s first-try as opposed to hitting the eyes and palette with thick brinjal cuts layered in between a hearty mince meal) soulofthehome