My Mom's Lebanese Moussaka (maghmour). A velvety vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic , onions, tomatoes and dried mint.

 

 

Lebanese Moussaka (Maghmour)

 

 

After getting a number of requests for the Lebanese Moussaka - some call it maghmour - I decided it to share it so folks can enjoy it as much as we do!!  Moussaka - an Arabic word which means literally chilled - is a velvety vegetarian eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic , onions, tomatoes and dried mint.  While the Lebanese moussaka has some elements with the Greek moussaka – tomatoes and eggplants, it is very different from the Greek version.

Moussak is an appetizer that is hearty enough to consider it a meal in itself.  I clearly remember the amazing smell of my mom’s moussaka. I know well, almost everyone believes that their mom is the best cook on earth, right? And I am no exception! Yet, there is something so special about my mom’s moussaka.

The secret in her recipe lies in how she peels the soaked chickpeas before cooking them, which makes all the difference.  My mother avoids canned goods as much as possible – “always fresh” is her motto! Most people - and I am one of them - are more likely to use canned chickpeas for a less time-consuming recipe.  Yes, it is a bit time-consuming to peel the chickpeas before cooking, but it is worth the effort.  However, the end result using canned chickpeas is still o.k!

 

If you are cutting down on fatty foods, then generously brush a non-stick baking sheet with canola oil, lay the eggplants in a single layer and roast in a preheated oven to 200°C/400°F for 25 minutes, or until the eggplant pieces are crisp and brown, making sure to flip every few minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight in 2 cups of water.Wash the chickpeas thoroughly and drain.  Place the soaked chickpeas on a counter top, position a ceramic bowl over it and press gently.  Once you remove the bowl, you will notice that the chickpeas are peeled.  Repeat the procedure as necessary (until all the chickpeas are totally peeled). If using canned chickpeas, skip this step.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peel the skin of the eggplants, retaining about 1/3 of the skin.  It should have the appearance of a stripped eggplant. Cut each eggplant into quarters.  Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Place a skillet on high heat and add the 2 cups of oil.  Once oil is hot, fry the eggplant pieces, in batches, to a golden color.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the ¼ cup of olive oil in a pot, set on high heat and sauté the onions till translucent. Add the garlic slices, dried mint and peeled chickpeas and sizzle with the onions for 20 seconds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder (if used) and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neatly add the fried eggplants to the pot, reduce heat to very low, cover up and simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Serve it with pita bread.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg /2 lb. 4 oz. large eggplants
  • 1½ kg.   / 3 lb. 5 oz. ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup dried chickpeas/ 1 cup canned chicpeas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • A dash of chili powder, optional
  • 2 cups canola oil, to fry the eggplants

Directions:

 

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas overnight in 2 cups of water. If using canned chickpeas, skip this step.
  2. Wash the chickpeas thoroughly and drain.  Place the soaked chickpeas on a counter top, position a ceramic bowl over it and press gently.  Once you remove the bowl, you will notice that the chickpeas are peeled.  Repeat the procedure as necessary (until all the chickpeas are totally peeled).  Set aside.(If using canned chicpeas, skip this step).
  3. Peel the skin of the eggplants, retaining about 1/3 of the skin.  It should have the appearance of a stripped eggplant. Cut each eggplant into quarters.  Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 20 minutes.
  4. Place a skillet on high heat and add the 2 cups of oil.  Once oil is hot, fry the eggplant pieces, in batches, to a golden color.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Add the ¼ cup of olive oil in a pot, set on high heat and sauté the onions till translucent. Add the garlic slices, dried mint and peeled chickpeas and sizzle with the onions for 20 seconds.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder (if used) and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil.
  7. Neatly add the fried eggplants to the pot, sprinkle the dried mint, reduce heat to very low, cover up and simmer for 25-30 minutes.  Serve it with pita bread.  Enjoy!

 

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Marhaba, and welcome to my blog! Discover the secrets behind the symphonies of flavor that make up Lebanese cuisine. Join my blog and take a sneak peak at my cookbook, Hadia... Lebanese Style Recipes .