Moussaka, a Mediterranean classic, is a traditional eggplant and lamb casserole featuring layers of charred eggplant, juicy meat, and accompanied with a cream sauce perfectly baked into every layer.
During the age of traders and cultural integration across the Mediterranean Sea, this dish was quickly adopted as a must-have Greek staple, typically served as a vegetable casserole, and adapted just as rapidly by Turks and the Balkans alike.
With its mysterious origins, research discovered this recipe to have first appeared in an Arabic cookbook dated back to the Medieval Era. When Greece was under Ottoman occupation, Chef Nikos, a legendary Greco-French chef, decided to convert the dish to have a European flair by adding a French béchamel sauce in order to reinvent this original recipe.
Quickly spreading across the Middle East, variations of Moussaka are now found sprinkled across each of these traditional cuisines. In Egypt, for example, Moussaka, which originally means "chilled", is usually served cold and cooked in tomato sauce with an essential layer of minced beef spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a variety of traditional flavours. Its Turkish counterpart has abandoned the concept of layers and instead, is served with a side of sautéed vegetables rather than the typical casserole approach. Moussaka happens to be highly nutritious, especially with eggplant as the star ingredient, rich in fibres and potassium needed for a healthy balanced meal. Check out our curated list of amazing Aussie restaurants that serve this delicious dish!
1. Moussaka Vegetarian, Platia Greek Taverna
Serving authentic Greek classics, Platia Greek Taverna cooks up delicious grills, dips and starters all based on traditional Greek food. The Moussaka Vegetarian substitutes the common lamb ingredient for a layer of kumara and delicious zucchini, cooked with softened potato, eggplant, tomato sauce and béchamel to provide an authentic vegetable moussaka. The blend of grilled eggplant, juicy sauces, and creamy béchamel is to die for. A vegetarian's delight, this dish combines the best of Greek flavours with the design of Italian lasagne creating a masterpiece for everyone to enjoy.
2. Classic Moussaka, Parea
Parea serves a wonderful variety of Greek dishes including grilled halloumi, moussaka, and other tasty sides all prepared in the classic, traditional Greek way. At Parea, you can enjoy a meat-based moussaka dish consisting of golden crisp layers of potatoes and eggplant bubbling in a rich tomato sauce with intermittent layers of spicy meat filling. Béchamel sauce binds the glorious flavours together with a final topping grilled and charred to perfection. This hearty meal will have you rubbing your belly with satisfaction!
3. Moussaka, Greek Salad, C'Aphrodite
Another great Moussaka hotspot is none other than C'Aphrodite, bringing authentic tastes and homemade dishes from Greece to the heart of Sydney with affordable and friendly prices. With a variety of delightful sandwiches, "orektika" appetisers, baked prawns, and of course, moussaka, this gem among Greek restaurants proudly serves up a meal to remember. C'Aphrodite prepare their traditional Greek Moussaka with roasted eggplant and marinated minced meat paired with a fresh Greek-style Salad. For a well-balanced meal, keep C'Aphrodite in mind the next time you're feeling a longing for Greek culture in your very own home!
4. Moussaka Plates, Little Greece
Beloved gyros wraps and juicy grills are always ready to be devoured at Little Greece! Shaved meats, grilled halloumi cheese, souvlaki with pita and the star of the show, Moussaka served with crispy chips are just a few of the unique variety offered on the Little Greece menu. Go the extra mile and indulge in the variety of exciting dips that complement the flavours of Greek cuisine. If you're looking for a nutritious snack to get you through the day, check out their hot chips served with a smoky eggplant dip, an excellent rendition of the distinct flavour eggplant contributes to the Mediterranean pallet. With a variety of vegetarian options, Little Greece has something special for everyone to enjoy!
If you're looking to get your Greek on then check out any of these wonderful dishes on Deliveroo today!