Oh, wondrous readers, lend me your ears! For I shall recount to thee a tale of epicurean delight, of a dish that shall transport you straight to the heart of Egypt! Allow me to introduce my Egyptian Eggplant recipe, a dish that is both exotic and familiar, tantalizing yet comforting.
Imagine eggplant – ah, but ’tis no ordinary eggplant! Nay, this be the famed Egyptian Eggplant, soaked in water and fried until delightful perfection is achieved. Imagine it marrying harmoniously with a delectable tomato sauce, infused with low sodium chicken broth, red bell peppers, and chickpeas. Can you smell the aroma wafting through your home?
This spicy Egyptian eggplant dish hails all the way from Alexandria and has been passed down for generations. The humble eggplant is transformed into a savory delicacy using Mesa’a (ah! Egyptian spiced seasoning), olive oil and fresh herbs. The spiced beef mixture layered between fried eggplant slices then crowned with tomato sauce infused with Harissa (an aromatic chili paste).
Deliciousness that will keep you coming back for more; this egyptian moussaka made with 2 large trimmed eggplants will serve six guests easily. But what makes this recipe stand out? Why shouldst thou try it? Lest I forget! It’s healthy too containing low-sodium chicken broth instead of vegetable stock creating less salt content, making it heart-healthy recipe.
So come along on a culinary journey with me as we delve into my exquisite Egyptian Eggplant recipe; I promise food heaven awaits thee!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Oh dear reader, let me take a moment to convince you why this Egyptian eggplant recipe deserves a spot in your culinary repertoire.
Firstly, let’s talk about the star of the dish – the eggplant. This majestic vegetable is at the heart of Egyptian cuisine, lending its creamy texture and mild flavor to many dishes. In this recipe, we go beyond just frying or grilling it – we soak it in water first! Why, you ask? It helps make the eggplant more tender and less bitter, resulting in a more enjoyable experience.
But wait, there’s more! Along with the eggplant, we also incorporate other key ingredients such as chickpeas, red bell pepper, fresh lemon juice, and a spicy harissa paste. These ingredients combine together to create a true explosion of flavors with every bite.
And let’s not forget about the rich tomato sauce that brings everything together. Made with low sodium chicken broth and a variety of herbs and spices that are commonly found in Egyptian cuisine, it amplifies the depth of flavors in every spoonful.
This recipe is incredibly versatile as well. Not only does it work as a main course, but it can be adjusted to be vegan or vegetarian by swapping out the ground beef for mushrooms or tofu. The leftovers can even be transformed into an Egyptian-style moussaka or byrosie_!
In conclusion, dear reader, this Egyptian eggplant recipe is not just any old eggplant dish. It is an explosion of flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds with every bite. So what are you waiting for? Head to your nearest market and gather up these ingredients – trust me, your taste buds will thank you!
Let’s talk about the ingredients needed to make this Egyptian Eggplant Recipe. Don’t worry, we will provide you with all the ingredients you need to make this dish deliciously authentic. Gather these fresh and vibrant ingredients for a taste of Egypt on your plate!
- 2 large Eggplants, trimmed and cut into thick rounds.
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) Chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped.
- ¼ cup Harissa.
- 6 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided.
- 1 pound Ground Beef (use vegan/vegetarian options if preferred).
- ½ cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth or Water.
- 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice.
- Sea Salt (to taste).
- Fresh Herbs, such as parsley or coriander, to garnish.
For the Egyptian Spiced Tomato Sauce, you will need:
- 1 can (14 ounces) Tomato Sauce.
- 3 Garlic Cloves, minced.
- 1 tablespoon Mesa’aah Egyptian Spice Blend (we highly recommend Mesa’aah by Rosie).
- 1 pinch of Sea Salt.
Make sure you have all these ingredients before we proceed to the next step!
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have all the ingredients for our Egyptian Eggplant Recipe, let’s dive into how we can create this delicious dish!
Step 1: Soak and Fry the Eggplant
To prepare the eggplant, I recommend soaking it in water for at least an hour. This will release any bitterness and excess water from the eggplant. Once soaked, cut the eggplants into thick rounds.
In a pan, heat up ⅓ cup of olive oil on medium-high heat. Start to fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides. Remove them from the pan and place on top of paper towels to drain.
Step 2: Prepare Spicy Egyptian Tomato Sauce
In another pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add in a diced red bell pepper and sauté until softened. Next, add in a can of chickpeas, followed by a cup of strained tomato sauce, and a cup of low-sodium chicken broth.
Bring it to boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it’s reduced to half of its original volume. Once it is reduced, add in some freshly-squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of sea salt and finally 1/4 cup of harissa. Stir together and let it continue to simmer.
Step 3: Add Ground Beef and Fresh Herbs (Optional)
While the sauce simmers, you can also prepare your ground beef. In a separate saucepan, heat up 6 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add one pound of ground beef and stir occasionally until it is no longer pink in color.
If you want extra flavor to your dish, you can also add some fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro.
Step 4: Assemble and Bake
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) before assembling.
In a large baking dish, start with a layer of fried eggplant slices on the bottom. Then add enough spicy Egyptian tomato sauce with chickpeas to cover them completely. Repeat this process until all the eggplants are used up or until you reach about three layers high.
If you chose to include ground beef in your dish, add it as an additional layer on top of the spicy Egyptain tomato sauce with chickpeas.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes or until heated through.
Once finished, remove from the oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving as desired! Whether enjoyed with rice or bread, this Egyptian Eggplant Recipe will surely be a crowd pleaser!
Substitutions and Variations
Hark! There are many substitutions and variations thou canst make to this recipe.
First and foremost, if thou art not fond of chickpeas, fear not! Thou canst easily swap them out for another type of legume, such as lentils or kidney beans.
If thou dost desire a heartier meal, thou mayest add some ground lamb or beef to the mix. The addition of meat adds richness and depth to the dish.
If thou harborest a fiery tongue, then add more harissa or even some red pepper flakes to spice things up.
And lo, if thou art a vegetarian or vegan, thou mayest swap out the meat for tofu or tempeh, or simply omit it altogether. This dish is just as delicious without it!
Moreover, for a different texture and flavor profile, thou canst substitute the eggplant with zucchini or yellow squash. The result will be a milder taste and a slightly firmer texture.
Finally, for those who seek out gluten-free alternatives to wheat-based pasta, substituting the tomato sauce for pesto sauce made with basil, pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese can provide an entirely new pallate of flavors.
Prithee be bold in thy substitutions and variations! The possibilities are endless when it comes to this delightfully versatile dish that can be named as an Egyptian moussaka or the spicy Egyptian byrosie_.
Serving and Pairing
Ah, the moment we’ve all been waiting for – the dish is ready to be served! Now, it’s time to pair this delicious Egyptian Eggplant Recipe with the perfect sides and drinks.
First, let’s talk about the sides. This dish pairs really well with a fresh green salad or some roasted vegetables. The refreshing crunch of a salad or the caramelized sweetness of roasted vegetables nicely offset the rich and savory flavor of this eggplant dish. You could also serve it alongside some rice pilaf or couscous to create a filling and comforting meal.
As for drinks, you’ll want something that can balance out the spicy kick in this dish. A cold glass of milk is always a safe bet, but if you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing it with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner. If you’re going for non-alcoholic options, fresh lemonade or iced tea would complement the flavors of this dish quite nicely.
Whether you’re enjoying this spicy Egyptian Eggplant recipe for lunch or dinner, you’ll definitely want to share it with loved ones around the table. Trust me when I say that this dish will bring everyone together and leave them begging for more.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Greetings, my dear readers! As with most hearty dishes, this Egyptian Eggplant Recipe can be made ahead of time, stored and reheated for later consumption. In fact, the flavours in the dish tend to deepen and develop over time so it’s actually a great idea to make this dish a day or two ahead of when you plan on serving it.
To store this Eggplant Dish, allow the pan to cool completely after cooking. Then, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminium foil and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. When you’re ready to eat, take the dish out of the fridge and let it come down to room temperature before reheating.
When reheating the Spicy Egyptian Eggplant, you may use either microwave or oven heating techniques. If using a microwave, cover the baking dish with a damp paper towel and microwave on high heat until heated through (usually around 2-4 minutes depending on your microwave). Alternatively, if using an oven, preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C), cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes until heated through.
As with most leftovers, it’s best to consume them within 3-4 days after storing them in order to prevent spoilage. Refrain from freezing this Egyptian Eggplant Recipe as eggplant doesn’t freeze well and tends to break down after thawing.
I hope these tips help guide you through the make-ahead, storage and reheating process for this Eggplant Moussaka. Enjoy them!
Tips for Perfect Results
Preparing Egyptian eggplant can be quite tricky, but there are a few tips that will help you achieve the best results possible. From choosing the perfect eggplants to cooking them just right, here are some tips to make your Egyptian Eggplant Recipe a success.
First and foremost, ensure you soak your eggplant in salted water before cooking them. This will draw out any bitterness and soften their texture. Be sure to rinse them thoroughly and pat them dry with a kitchen towel after soaking.
When frying the eggplant slices in oil, make sure the oil is hot enough before adding the slices. This will create a crispy outer layer while maintaining the softness of the inside.
Another tip is to avoid overcooking the chickpeas. When adding them to your recipe, ensure they are cooked just right to maintain their flavor and texture.
To add more depth of flavor, consider using fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro. These add a pop of freshness and delicious aroma to the dish.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this recipe. You can substitute beef for lamb or chicken and play around with harissa spice levels until you find your desired taste.
By following these tips, you should have a perfect dish in no time.
Pray, allow me to address queries that may perplex thy mind about this Egyptian Eggplant Recipe. ‘Tis normal for any cook or scribe to have questions related to cooking times, ingredients substitution, and variations in the recipe. Fear not, I shall endeavor to assist thee with thy uncertainties with these frequently asked questions that may arise during the preparation of this dish.
Why do you soak eggplant before cooking?
One helpful trick for cooking eggplant is to let it soak in milk for about 30 minutes before cooking. This method helps to balance out the natural bitterness of the eggplant while also adding extra creaminess to the texture. The eggplant acts like a sponge, absorbing the milk and creating a more tender and flavorful dish.
Why do you soak eggplant in water and salt?
Preparing eggplants by salting them before cooking is a useful technique to intensify their flavor and give them a softer, more delicate texture. This is because it helps remove excess moisture from the eggplant, resulting in more flavor and less water.
What is Mesakaa?
Get ready to have your taste buds buzzing because I have an epic dish for you – the Egyptian Mesaka’a! With a combination of sweet, acidic, and spicy flavors, this dish is bound to delight your palate. Imagine indulging in layers of meaty fried eggplants, blended with tangy mild and spicy peppers, and smothered in a rich and garlicy-tomato sauce that’s elevated with a touch of cumin. This Middle Eastern dish is bound to transport you to the bustling streets of Egypt!
Should you soak eggplant in water before cooking?
According to the chef, Ehud, a simple trick to make fried eggplant less greasy is to soak the slices beforehand in a bowl of saltwater for about 30 to 45 minutes. This technique has nothing to do with eliminating bitterness, but rather produces a desirable texture when cooking.
In conclusion, this Egyptian eggplant recipe is an extraordinary dish that is both rich in flavor and easy-to-make. With its unique blend of ingredients, this recipe is sure to become a new favorite for any food lover. Whether you’re looking for a spicy kick or just want to taste the authentic flavors of Egypt, this dish has everything you need!
From the fresh lemon juice to the sea salt and olive oil, every ingredient in this recipe has been carefully selected to create the perfect balance of flavors. The combination of eggplant, chickpeas, and tomato sauce creates a delicious harmony of textures and tastes that will leave you craving more.
And with the included tips for perfect results, make-ahead options, and substitutions and variations, this recipe can easily be customized to suit your needs and preferences. So why not try out this fantastic Egyptian eggplant recipe now? Your taste buds will thank you!
Egyptian Eggplant Recipe
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 ounce water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 (8 ounce) can chickpeas (drained)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into pieces
- 2 ounces pickled jalapeno pepper juice
- 4 -6 pickled jalapeno peppers (sliced)
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- Peel eggplant if you prefer it without the skin like I do.
- Cute in cubes and mix lemon juice and water and toss together so Eggplant doesn't brown.
- Cut bell pepper into cubes.
- Saute bell pepper and eggplant in olive oil for a couple minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, chicken stock, jalapeno juice, jalapenos, chickpeas.
- Season with sea salt.
- Allow to reduce down until eggplant is soft and chickpeas are tender.
- Server Immediately
- I like mine with some pita bread, yogurt and it's a nice side dish for fish.