Moussaka

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Moussaka! Sounds familiar :-)? I love this traditional Bulgarian dish, the tender taste of baked potatoes, delicious beef ragu and a flavourful topping.

Now my Kosovo friends and the ones from other Balkan countries will jump—wait a minute we also have moussaka in our national cuisines :-)! And I am glad we all share this recipe—this means we all contributed to enriching it and making it an all-time favourite!

The Bulgarian cuisine is very influenced by centuries of interacting with Greeks, Romans, and Turks in the territories of what is today’s Bulgaria. So no wonder a fairly similar recipe can be found in the cuisines of these countries.

The difference between the Bulgarian and Greek moussaka is that the Bulgarian one uses potatoes and not eggplants. This recipe is defiantly worth a try. Its basic ingredients are fairly plain, but the yoghurt based topping gives it a unique, tangy taste.

Ingredients:

1kg potatoes for a baking pan with width of 40 cm

3 tablespoons of olive oil

½ kg ground beef

2 onions, finely chopped

1 fresh tomato, peeled and sliced thin

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Paprika to taste

Dry oregano to taste

Vegeta to taste

3 large eggs

4 tablespoons of  flour

1 cup (250 g) of plain yoghurt

Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 250 C.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes until soft. Add ground beef and stir fry until brown, then add the tomato, salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano and parsley. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the liquid from the tomato is almost evaporated and the mixture becomes dry.

The peeled and washed potatoes need to be cut preliminary to small cubes as in the picture below.

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Put the potatoes in the pan, sprinkle with vegeta (or salt to taste) and olive oil. Add the ground beef mixture onto the potatoes and mix well with a spoon to ensure the meat has spread evenly. Pour water to almost cover the last level of potatoes. Bake for about an hour or until the liquid is evaporated.

In the meantime, beat the eggs in a bowl, add the yoghurt and flour and mix well. Add salt to your taste. Pour over the already dried moussaka and bake until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Serve warm with a salad of your choice or tarator aka Tzatziki 😉

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