Moussaka - Traditional dish from the Balkans
Musaka (or Moussaka, in English) is a traditional dish that has its origins in Middle East but became grossly popular in all Balkan countries, especially in Greece. People from Serbia also like to make moussaka, and here is a simple and basic recipe how it is made there.
You will need:
around 1 kg of potatoes
500 gr champignons (or minced meat)
1 middle sized onion
300 ml of milk
200 ml sour cream
salt, pepper, optionally powdered ginger, nutmeg, thyme, parsley...
Given quantities are for 4 servings.
First wash potatoes, peel and slice them - slices should be around 1 cm thick but that is not very important. Then you clean the champignons, slice them and put them in a pan with olive oil and then on burner. Put some salt, parsley, thyme and ginger, depending on your taste. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, put sliced onion there to fry just a little bit more, and when its done put some pepper on champignons.
Take refractory bowl and then you put some oil there just to cover the bottom and then arrange potato slices in it. Use half of potatoes. Then take fried champignons and cover the potatoes with them, and after that arrange the rest of potatoes on top of champignons.
Now we will make the custard. Break 2 eggs in another bowl, put sour cream and milk there and stir 'till you get a homogenous mixture. Put some salt, pepper and nutmeg in that mixture and then pour it in refractory bowl (over those potatoes and champignons) and shake the bowl gently until the custard arranges between all material. This is important - potatoes should "swim" in that custard because otherwise they won't get equally cooked. Now, cover the refractory bowl with it's cover lid or with aluminium foil. Start the oven at 200 C. Put the refractory bowl in the oven and leave it there for 45 - 60 minutes.
Take the refractory bowl out and be sure not to put in on some clammy or wet base since it will break because of the temperature. Remove the cover or aluminium foil and check if the potatoes are well cooked - you should be able to pierce them with a fork. Then you wait a few minutes to let all the liquid from refractory bowl evaporate, or additionally bake it in the oven until the top of it gets brown. If potatoes are not soft, just give your musaka a few more minutes in the oven. And it is done.
Musaka is best served with sour cream, kefir, olives or tomatoes. Have a nice meal!
Note: Me and my girlfriend are not very fond of meat, but musaka is traditionally made with minced meat (pork or beef). So, if you like meat, the process is the same, just use minced meat instead of champignons, and use more pepper.
Thank you for reading!