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4 September, 2013

Moussaka (or Mssa’aa)

Posted in : Recipes, Vegan only, Vegetarian & Vegan main Dishes on by : el Meza

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Lebanese MoussakaMoussaka or Mssa’aa – Cooked eggplant with chickpeas

In Lebanon, Mssa’aa is a cooked dish made up primarily of eggplant, chickpeas and tomatoes.  Different from the greek Moussaka, It’s similar to italian caponata, and is usually served cold, as a main  dish.

Mssa’aa, this delightfully rich stew, must be eaten with pita bread or else it isn’t as good!

Serves 6


  • 6 small eggplants (whole and partially peeled) or 2 large (partially peeled and cut in 1/4 inch rounds slices)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium chopped onions
  • 2 cloves of  minced garlic
  • 4 medium tomatoes (or 1 can)
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  •  salt to taste
  • 2 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 400g tin of chickpeas (or equivalent home cooked)
  • Parsley for garnish


Choose a large wide skillet, a 9 inch cast iron or ceramic pan is great.

Heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and add the eggplants and cook over medium heat until browned in spots, but not cooked through.

Work in batches if necessary.

Remove to a paper towel to drain.

Take 2 of the eggplants (or some of the eggplant slices ) and dice.

Add more extra virgin olive oil to the skillet, there should be about a 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet. Add the onion and garlic and chickpeas and sauté until softened.

Add the tomatoes, season with salt.

Stir in the diced eggplant. Nestle the 4 whole eggplants (or the round slices) in the skillet and add the pomegranate molasses and the tomato paste. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 25 minutes, flipping the eggplants once halfway through.

Test the eggplants for doneness, and add water if the tomatoes get dry. The dish is done when the eggplant is tender. Finally add the lemon juice.

Sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley before serving.



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