The first and most important rule of Moussaka is to ignore all recipes that use potato instead of aubergine. The second rule of Moussaka is to serve lots of retsina. I think the atmosphere is enhanced if you play Greek music while you eat it but I understand your disagreeing. With or without the music, please don’t break the plates afterwards! This is basically a recipe from the Marshall Cavendish Handbook of Good Cooking .


serves: 4
preparation time: 45 mins
cooking time: 1½ hrs


  • 1½ lbs minced lamb
  • 1½ lbs aubergines
  • 6 oz onions
  • 8 ozs tomatoes
  • 5 fl oz olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 15 fl oz béchamel sauce (coating consistency)
  • yolk of 1 large egg
  • large pinch grated nutmeg
  • 3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated


Wipe, top and tail the aubergines, then cut them into ¼ inch slices. Sprinkle them with salt and place them in a colander to degorge them for 30 mins. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onions; blanch, peel, de-seed and chop the tomatoes. Drain and dry the aubergine slices on kitchen paper.

Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat and fry the aubergine slices gently until tender, turning once. Add extra oil if necessary as you go. Drain the fried slices on kitchen paper.

In the same pan, fry the onions gently in 2 tbs oil until soft and lightly coloured. Add the lamb and fry, stirring until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes, allspice, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, cover and cook very gently for about 20 mins.

Heat the oven to gas mark 4. In a deep oven-proof dish, arrange alternate layers of aubergine and meat, finishing with aubergine. Warm the béchamel sauce very gently over low heat, then stir in the egg yolk and nutmeg together with salt and pepper to taste Pour the sauce evenly over the surface of the dish and sprinkle the top with the grated Parmesan. Bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins until the top is lightly golden and bubbling.

Serve this with Greek Salad and lashings of cold retsina.

Get a pdf version of this recipe

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