It is so strange how one’s taste buds could change over years. I used to hate eggplants when I was way younger. I recall that my mom used to make pickled eggplants with garlic, vinegar, bell peppers and parsley, I would leave the house instantly to escape just the suggestion to try it. Now, I would eat the eggplants stuffed, fried, grilled, pickled and perhaps raw one day. Egyptian moussaka could be made purely vegetarian or with beef. I will make the vegetarian version this round as I like it more.
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggplants (male or female, seriously they have gender types)
1 bell pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 freshly squeezed tomatoes (chopped by your kitchen chopper)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
10 minced garlic cloves or more
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon parsley or cilantro for garnish
Peel the egg plants and cut it into slices or small cubes. Sprinkle some salt on every piece and set it aside for now.
Wash and cut the bell pepper into small dices.
On a medium heat, heat the 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Lower the heat and start to fry the egg plants, but squeeze it first to get any liquid out.
Take it out when it golden brown color.
Set it aside on paper towels.
Now fry the bell peppers for a couple of minutes. Set aside on paper towels as well. You can fry both together if in rush as below.
In a medium pot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil, add the garlic and stir until yellowish color.
Add the tablespoon of the vinegar on the garlic.
Add the squeezed tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir together.
Add some water about 1 cup and simmer it down for 25 minutes.
Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Add the cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
Now the Egyptian twist, it is bit weird but add 2 teaspoons of that oil you fried the eggplants and the bell peppers in to the tomato sauce.
On a medium heat, take the fired eggplants and bell peppers and mix all of that together with the tomato sauce in the pot.
Mix them together until the sauce bubbles.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a small baking pan, pour the mix in it and add some sliced tomatoes or jalapeño on the top.
Bake it for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!