I’d been craving lamb, and Lisa was in a I-want-lasagna-but-we-just-had-lasagna mood, so moussaka seemed like the perfect bridge between our two wants. This recipe comes from the book Mediterranean Hot and Spicy; the moussaka was certainly hot (after being in a 400F oven for an hour…) but spicy? Not so much. Mouth-watering? Yes. Mouth-burning? No. Just a warning; this is not a recipe you can just whip up when you get home from work; it’s a multi-hour commitment!

Lisa says:

I can’t believe you’re just finishing up, I would have been frustrated hours ago.

Chris says:

Ha, I actually enjoy the occasional time-intensive recipe; besides, the last hour I haven’t been doing anything but getting hungry while I wait for it to finish baking.

Lisa says:

Well I’m glad it’s done now… I’m starvin’, Marvin.

Chris says:

This smells awesome… Mmm.. and there’s the lamb I’ve been craving.

Lisa says:

Oooh, I love the texture of the baked yogurt top. And the meat is good — not super-duper “lamby”.

Chris says:

All the veggies are great; I like the layer of green peppers.

Lisa says:

The potato layer is awesome. Whoa — looks like there’s a ton leftover.

Chris says:

There is — you could totally cut this recipe in half and just bake it in an 8″x8″ pan and you’d be set for 4 servings.

Lisa says:

I guess at some point we’ll be able to report back on how this freezes and reheats.

Chris says:

Indeed — we’ll have to whip this out midweek next week. It’ll be nice to not have to work nearly as hard for it next time. 🙂


Spicy, Light Moussaka
Sea salt
2 large eggplants (about 1.5 lbs). sliced lengthwise, 1/4″ thick
Olive oil
1 lb potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
3 large green bell peppers, quartered and cut into 1″ pieces
1 lb lean ground lamb
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 or more pinches of cayenne
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup dried currants
2 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes with juice
fresh ground black pepper
2 pinches freshly ground nutmeg
1 pinch allspice
1 lb (4 cups) nonfat Greek yogurt
2 egg yolks

Salt the eggplant slices, place them in a colander, and let them drain for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat about an inch deep of olive oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and fry the potato slices until browned but not cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and layer on the bottom of a 9×12″ glass ovenproof casserole dish. In the same oil, saute the peppers over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they start to color, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reserve the oil, measure out 1/4 cup, and return it to the pan. Saute the lamb in the oil, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until no longer red. Add the chopped onion and continue to saute for another 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the cayenne and red wine. When boiling, add the currants and tomatoes. Lower and simmer for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more cayenne if wanted. Add the nutmeg and allspice and add to the heat.
Preheat the broiler.
Wipe the eggplant slices with paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with the reserved oil and broil about 4 inches from the heat until golden brown on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Arrange the eggplant over the potatoes, overlapping if necessary. Layer the peppers over the eggplant and top with the lamb/tomato mixture. In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the egg yolks, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the lamb/tomato mixture. Bake for 1 hour, until the top starts to color and the moussaka is bubbly.

6-8 Servings.

2 responses to “Moussaka”

  1. mmm. Looks real appetizing. In Lebanon moussaka is made without meat. Anyway, this recipe is intrighuing me. How did you get the yoghurt not to curdle? In Lebanon we always add cornstarch to the cooked yoghurt.

  2. There is a small error in that the yogurt is either one pound or four cups, but one pound is two cups, and four cups make two pounds. I am guessing that the right answer is one quart (four cups) and not one pound.

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