This recipe for Lebanese moussaka, first publised in 2010, was updated in September 2021. The changes include more precise measurements, the elimination of lemon juice (the pomegranate molasses imparts enough sourness), and the addition of allspice and cinnamon.
One of my favourite easy meals, this delightfully rich stew combines two middle eastern staples to create a mouthwatering stew of aubergine (eggplant) and chickpeas. A full-bodied tomato sauce complemented by tangy pomegranate molasses is what makes this dish so unique. It's simple to make, delicious to eat, and makes for a filling meal.
Lebanese Moussaka (Maghmour)
- ¼ cup olive oil divided
- 1 large aubergine (about 400-425 grams) cut into ½ inch rounds
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 400 gram tin of tomatoes or 400 grams fresh tomatoes
- 75 millilitres water
- ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
- pinch or two ground cinnamon
- 400 gram tin of chickpeas, drained or 100 grams dried chickpeas, cooked
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
- Handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 250° Celcius (475° F). Use some of the olive oil to brush both sides of the aubergine (eggplant) slices and bake for about 10 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook a further 10 minutes. If the aubergine are finished cooking before you complete the next step, remove from the oven and set aside until you do.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large pan or medium saucepan and fry the onions for 5-6 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, sugar, salt, allspice, and cinnamon. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the roasted aubergine and chickpeas to the sauce. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir the pomegranate molasses through just before it's finished cooking.
- If serving as a main, dish up with rice and/or bread. If you intend to serve this as part of a mezze spread, let the moussaka cool to room temperature first. Garnish with parsley.