Pharaoh’s Friday #12: Meatless Eggplant and Cream Pie (Moussaka)


Okay, this variation of moussaka (or eggplant [aubergine] casserole) originates in Greece, but many Egyptians do eat their eggplant casserole like this.  This was a very satisfying casserole that will remind you of the non-vegan version immediately.
[veganized from The Complete Middle East Cookbook, by Tess Mallos]
Serves 6
Ingredients:
500 g eggplant, with skin, sliced (1 medium-sized eggplant)
oil for brushing

Meat Sauce:
3 cups TVP
3 cups water
2 bouillon cubes

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon water
½ cup tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped (or ½ tablespoon of dried)
½ teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Cream Sauce:
2 tablespoons corn oil
2 tablespoons + ½ teaspoon flour
1 cup of non-dairy milk (we used soymilk)
1/16 teaspoon of nutmeg
salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Prepare the eggplant.
1.  Cut eggplant into slices (leave the skin on).  Sprinkle with salt and leave sit for about an hour.  Pat dry.

Salted

After an hour

2.  Brush a cookie or baking sheet with oil and layer the eggplant slices on the baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the slices with oil as well.  Bake in the oven at gas mark 5 (375 degrees F or 190 degrees C) for about 5 minutes.
3.  Once the eggplant slices are browned on the one side, turn them, brush with oil and brown the other side for another 5 minutes.

Browned eggplant

Prepare the meat sauce.
4.  Put the TVP in a large bowl.  Set aside.
5.  In a medium sauce pan, heat the 3 cups of water and the 2 bouillon cubes.  Once they have boiled and become broth, pour over the 3 cups of TVP and let sit for about 15 minutes until the TVP has absorbed the broth.
6.  In a large sauce pan, heat the one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of water and add the onion and garlic.  Fry until lightly browned.
7.  Add the reconstituted TVP and the tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, parsley, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Meatless Meat sauce

Prepare the cream sauce:
8.  Heat the corn oil in a small pan and add the flour.  Cook for about 2 minutes until bubbling.
9.  Add the nondairy milk.  Stir constantly and let the sauce boil for about 1 minute.
10.  Remove the cream sauce from the heat and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the moussaka:
11.  In a 9 x 9 inch (23 cm x 23 cm) casserole dish, brush a bit of oil and then arrange a layer of eggplant slices on the bottom (try to use about ⅓ of the slices).  Top this layer with half of the meat sauce.  Add another layer of eggplant, top with the rest of the meat sauce, and then finish with the final third of the sliced eggplant.

First layer of eggplant

The layered moussaka before the cream

12.  Pour the cream sauce over the top of the meat pie.  Bake in the oven at gas mark 4 (180 degrees C or 350 degrees F).  Cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes before cutting.
It’s important to wait before cutting.
Otherwise, your pieces may fall apart.

Nutritional Information: 1 of 6 pieces
326 Calories; 12g Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 29g Carbohydrates; 12g Fiber; 25g Protein

Alf Hana!!!

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7 responses to “Pharaoh’s Friday #12: Meatless Eggplant and Cream Pie (Moussaka)

  1. This look lovely, but finding vegan bouillon cubes that are not too salty and don’t have msg is quite difficult. I would use 3 cups of vegan organic vegetable broth, probably “no-chik.” Also I might use a ground beef style seitan, pre-made or home made. The directions and pictures are helpful, but it would be convenient to have a printable version without the pictures. Printing and cutting out the pictures is time consuming.

  2. Hi lmadden42! Thanks for your comment! I understand that it’s hard to find vegan bouillon cubes that are suitable – it’s extra difficult here in Egypt. Actually, we don’t have many choices of bouillon cubes at all – just 2. I also agree that seitan may be an attractive option, but we have never found it here. So, we try to make the most with what’s available.

    I appreciate your suggestion about offering a printable version of recipes for readers. We will work on a way to make this happen for future posts. Thanks a lot and Alf Hana!!!

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  5. Imadden42, I do make my own vegan bouillon cubes. Try it, it’s very easy, it’s basicaly water, any kind of vegetables you like, added all together with onions, garlic and a big tomato, and any kind of spices or herbs that you like to flavour your bouillon with. I also put some olive oil for taste.You boil everything until you reduce the amount of water and seive the vegetables through a fine seive and then you can control the amount of salt that you add. I usually make a big batch and put them in the ice cube trays and when they are frozen I take them out and freez the cubes in plastic bags and keep in the freezer. I hope this will help.

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