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VEGETARIAN MOUSSAKA

Vegetarian Moussaka is a flavorful, creamy and delish version of the original meat moussaka. Herb flavored lentil tomato sauce is spread between layers of vegetables, topped with Béchamel Sauce and baked.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

The Vegetable Layers:

  • 500 g potatoes
  • 400 g eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt

The Lentil Tomato Sauce:

  • ½ cup lentils, Puy Lentils
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • 1 cup water or stock
  • 1- 1¼ tsp salt

The Béchamel Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp melted butter or oil
  • 2 tbsp oats flour
  • 1 cup milk hot
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder
  • ¼ tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated

Instructions
 

  • Preparation of the Vegetables
  • Peel the potatoes and parboil them. That means don't cook till done.
  • Allow the potatoes to cool down.
  • Slice them into ¼ inch roundels.
  • Remove stalk of the eggplant and cut into roundels about ¼ inch in thickness.
  • Add the eggplant slices in water till required.
  • Heat a frying pan or griddle pan over medium heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp olive oil. When it becomes hot arrange the potato slices in the pan.
  • Allow the slices to roast or cook for 1-2 minutes or till they brown slightly.
  • Turn over the slices, sprinkle some salt and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Keep on the side till required.
  • Remove eggplant slices from the water. Pat them dry on a towel.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil in the pan. Arrange the eggplant slices and allow them to cook till the slices brown a bit.
  • Turn them over, sprinkle same salt and roast for 1-2 minutes.
  • Take the pan off the heat.

Preparation of Lentil Tomato Sauce:

  • Wash and soak lentils for 30 minutes in warm water. This will help the lentils to cook faster.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add chopped onion and stir fry till it becomes soft and slightly brown.
  • Add chopped garlic. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  • Add lentils, tomato puree, mixed herbs, water or stock and salt.
  • Mix well, cover the pan and allow the lentils to simmer over medium to low heat till done.
  • If required add a bit more stock or water.
  • Take the lid off the pan. Add cinnamon, pepper powder and mix well. Make sure the lentils are done and the liquid has been absorbed. If not, cook till the liquid is absorbed.

Preparation of the Béchamel Sauce:

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan till it becomes hot.
  • In another pan add butter or oil and put it over low heat.
  • Add the flour and keep stirring it till it turns light pink in colour and the mixture is all frothy and bubbly.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Add milk slowly stirring the flour mixture all the time to avoid lumps.
  • Put the pan back onto the heat. Keep stirring the mixture till it becomes thick and creamy.
  • Take the pan off the heat and keep the sauce on the side till required.

Preparation of Vegetarian Moussaka

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Take a 8" X 8" deep baking tray. Lightly grease it with oil or butter.
  • Divide the roasted potatoes and eggplants into 3 parts.
  • Spread a bit of the lentil sauce at the bottom of the tray, a thin layer.
  • Layer the first portion of vegetables in the prepared tray.
  • Spread half of the lentil tomato sauce over the layer.
  • Using the second portion, make a layer of the potato and eggplant slices over the sauce.
  • Spread the remaining lentil tomato sauce over the vegetables.
  • Layer the remaining potato and eggplant slices over the sauce.
  • Evenly spread out the béchamel sauce over the vegetable layer.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese over it.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  • Serve Vegetarian Moussaka with some salad.

Notes

  • Along with eggplant and potato, can also add zucchini. 
  • Can replace the lentils with moong beans or chopped mushroom.
  • Can omit cheese for a healthier moussaka. 
  • Instead of cheddar cheese can use feta, ricotta, goats cheese or mozzarella.
  • If you used canned tomatoes, adjust the salt in the lentil tomato sauce accordingly.
  • Use fresh herbs if you get some.
Keyword vegetarian moussaka recipe