Magic in the Kitchen: Moussaka Batinjaan

Delicious and easy to make, the eggplant casserole – also known as moussaka batinjaan – is a popular dish, well-liked by many. If you're looking for a quick recipe for lunch then this is one of your best bets. You can serve it with rice or with Arabic bread, in which case it can be eaten hot or cold based on your own preference.


Ingredients:
- 900 g eggplant
- 2 small chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine
- 450 g of ground lamb
- 1/2 tablespoon of allspice
- 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder (optional)
- 3-4 tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste in 1 cup of water
- Salt
- Oil


Directions:

• Peel and cut the eggplant into 3cm thick slices.
• Salt all slices and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the bitter juices to drain away.
• Squeeze the slices gently then wash in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
• Fry the sliced eggplant in hot oil until lightly browned, then place on a paper towel to               remove the grease.
• Sauté the chopped onions in butter, then add the ground lamb and fry them until redness     disappears.
• Season the meat-onion mix with allspice and garlic powder, then add salt to it based on your   taste.
• Arrange the eggplant slices and meat in alternate layers with thinly sliced tomatoes in               between.
• Pour over the diluted tomato paste.
• Cook in heatproof dish in a 375 degree C oven until nearly all the liquid evaporates, which       should take about 30 minutes.
• Garnish with chopped parsley and/or sautéed pine nuts sprinkled on top.