After quite a bit of searching I found a recipe for Vegan Moussaka that reminded me of the Moussaka I had eaten at Garbanzo’s in Portland, OR so many years ago. However, as I was gathering the ingredients and thinking of how the dish would taste, it became clear to me that this recipe would not make the Moussaka for which I had been longing. So, I changed up the ingredients a little bit, but I am still not completely satisfied with the outcome.
Please feel free to make this Moussaka, offer suggestions, change the recipe, tell me what you think, and please be honest! If anyone lived in Portland, OR between 1999 and 2002 and ate or worked at Garbanzo’s on Hawthorne, feel free to chime in! Please tell me if you know the recipe for their vegetarian Moussaka! I asked for the recipe once and was told it was a secret the owner would not reveal. However, having worked in restaurants, I know that the cooks often know the “secrets”.
Anyway, here is my recipe for Vegan Moussaka. I hope you enjoy this dish and since it makes a huge pot full, please share with your friends! As always, be kind to one another.
- 3 Large Eggplants – With 2/3 of the skin peeled and cut into thick strips
- 3 & 1/2 LBS Tomatoes – Peeled and small diced
- 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Water or Vegetable Stock
- Vegetable Bouillon (if not using stock)
- 2 Medium Yellow Onions – small diced
- 6 Garlic Cloves – Peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp Dried Mint
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Turmeric
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 tsp Ground Clove
- 2 Cups Olive Oil for frying Eggplants
- After peeling and cutting the eggplants, sprinkle them with salt and let sit for 20 minutes then rinse with water and pat dry. This is done to remove the bitterness from the eggplant. You want to make sure to pat dry and allow to air dry as well because when frying, water touching oil will make the oil pop up and burn you. Be very careful!
- Add 2 cups of olive oil to a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant in batches and fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and allow to drain on paper towels.
- In a large stockpot over medium heat add 1/4 cup olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions and saute until they are translucent.
- Add the garlic and chickpeas and stir into onions for about two minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for an additional five minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. If using bouillon cubes or paste add to taste after adding spices, if using stock use in place of water.
- Add the dried mint, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, and clove and stir well.
- Add the fried eggplant in pieces to the stockpot.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
Serve and let me know what you think!