Moussaka – Romanian version

Some think that the moussaka or “musaca” is a traditional Romanian dish, but I really doubt it. It is indeed very common in the Balkans, but Greek, Turkey, Bulgaria use eggplant for the layers instead of potatoes and lamb meat instead of pork. It is very common in Middle East as well with all sorts of variations. I would say that what makes the musaca Romanian is the thyme, you know… my thyme. I usually prepare it with potatoes only, but since I love eggplant I decided to combine the two. Here’s how!

musakaMoussaka Servings: 8
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 40 min
Difficulty: medium


  • 500g minced meat, pork with beef
  • 4 big potatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100 g tomato puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 yogurt
  • grated cheese for topping
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • thyme, salt and pepper
  • a bit of butter for covering the pan


  1. In a hot pan add 2 tbsp of oil and start frying the meat, with no salt or onion, just by itself until it gets brown.
  2. In the meantime start boiling the potatoes in skin, until you can poke them with a fork.
  3. In a heated pan add a few drops of oil and fry the eggplant slices until they get slightly brown. The slices of eggplant need to rest for 15 min with salt on them and you need to pat them dry with a paper towel before frying them.
  4. Over the brown meat add the chopped garlic and onion and let them soften.
  5. Add the tomato puree and let them simmer for few min.
  6. At the end add the thyme, paprika salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Let it cool for few min and add one whole egg in and mix it well.
  8. In a cast iron skillet spread a tsp of butter.
  9. Add a layer of sliced potatoes and a bit of salt over them.
  10. Add a layer of eggplant (they are already salty).
  11. Add the meat mixture.
  12. Cover it with another layer of potatoes and eggplant and the yogurt mixed with one egg. Cover with a generous layer of grated cheese.
  13. Bake it at 180 C for 40 min.
  14. Let it cool 30 min before cutting it. It is a very cheap dish, but incredibly elegant and tasty and you will enjoy it for a few days.

If you would like to see more Romanian inspired recipes click here.