What is Moussaka?

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Moussaka refers to a kind of dish that is common to the Mediterranean. This dish is associated with Greece where it is said to have originated and is widely popular in the Middle East, Egypt and other parts of the Balkans. Moussaka is a very versatile and diverse dish as it is made in different flavors and styles. Some restaurants along the Mediterranean, particularly those whose specialty is Greek dishes offer moussaka as part of their menu. Moussaka may also be bought from certain markets or prepared at home. When making moussaka from home, three important ingredients have to be present. These are a mixture of meat, a vegetable and any kind of sauce. These ingredients are usually layered then baked to produce moussaka. Depending on a region’s tastes and preferences, moussaka may be taken while cold or hot. Some chefs prefer to add a cheese and white sauce coating for variation. This enriches the moussaka and makes it more intense. Vegetarian chefs substitute the meat in moussaka with seitan, a suitable ingredient that fits well with other ingredients due to its chewy and dense texture.

Making Moussaka the Modern Way

Modern moussaka is prepared using varied ingredients. These include lamb, white sauce, eggplant slices, and tomato sauce. First, the slices of eggplant are fried and the lamb is cooked and seasoned prior to layering. The lamb, tomato and eggplant slices are then layered. This lamb/eggplant/tomato moussaka is what comes to mind when people hear the term ‘moussaka’. Eggplant slices may be substituted with carrots, zucchinis and potatoes while meats like chicken, pork and beef may be used instead of lamb. Tomato sauce can also be replaced with white sauce or a tomato fruit while different sauces and cheeses can be used to dress the moussaka. As a versatile dish, moussaka can easily be prepared at home using favorite ingredients as opposed to sticking to one recipe strictly.

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