Bulgarian Musaka Vs Greek Moussaka
The ‘Moussaka’ has always been considered a Greek National dish and although this may be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean it originated from Greece.
Musaka comes from an Arabic word meaning cold or chilled.
It is an oven dish consisting of ground meats from lamb, pork or veal plus a variety of vegetables
The Turkish adopted the dish from the Arabs and the dish would have included cacik and aubergines ( egg plants as it is known in many other countries).
When the Ottoman Empire conquered and ruled the Balkans for five hundred years it was only natural that the Musaka became part of Bulgarian and Greek cuisine.
Musaka Recipe Variations
As you can imagine, there are as many variations of the Musaka recipe as there are probably days in every year.
It is generally accepted that the Bulgarian Musaka recipe uses potatoes and the Greek Moussaka recipe uses Aubergines.
The spelling differences are intentional. ’The word is pronounced the same but I have used the Latin phonetic spelling of the word because the Bulgarian Cyrillic spelling is Mycaka.
The use of potatoes and the topping of Bulgarian Yogurt, flour and egg mix poured over the dish midway through cooking gives this dish its unique Bulgarian touch.
A recipe is a only list of instructions which you, as the cook, have the freedom to experiment with your quantities and ingredients.
Cook by look, feel and taste and your recipe may become so popular that the Bulgarian Musaka could become a ‘National Dish’ If only in your own home!
Bulgarian Musaka Recipe
Serves 4 Large portions
Cook Time. Approximatley 1 hour 15mins
Preperation Time About 25 minutes
What you will need
Large Pot or frying pan with lid for initial stewing of ingredients.
Oven Casserole dish
500g (1.1lb) minced pork meat. (or a 60/40 mixed pork & Beef) I prefer 100% pork for Musaka
1 kg (2.2lb) potatoes
2 medium Tomatoes(Tin tomatoes can be used, or leave out completely if you don’t like them)
3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil.
1 or 2 teaspoon of each but you can add more if you wish a stronger taste
Chubritsa ( Bulgarian Herb), or (Italian seasoning or any savoury mix you enjoy)
1 Large cup of Yogurt ( Bulgarian Kicelo Mlyako if you can get it if only for authenticity) Your usual yogurt will be OK.
2/3Tablespoon all purpose flour
- Peel & chop potatoes into small cubes ( they will all cook evenly) place in a bowl of water to stop them going brown until ready to use.
- Peel and chop, carrot and onions
- Chop or grate tomatoes
- Pour about 3 Tablespoons of oil into your pan and heat.
- Add your chopped carrots and onions. Stir for several minutes.
- Add chopped potatoes and tomatoes and a little salt to taste.
- Stir and mix with other ingredients for several minutes.
- Add your minced meat and your seasonings.
Place a lid on your pot and cook for about 10 minutes and occasionally stir. Ensure your meat is evenly distributed and browned.
Heat up your oven to 200 c (400F) Gas Mark 6
- When your meat is browned,exchange your ingredients from your frying pan or stew pot into your oven casserole dish and spread evenly.
- Add enough hot water hot until level with the ingredients. Not too much! We don’t want them swimming.
- Place in hot oven for about 25 minutes.
Prepare Your Yogurt Mix Topping
- Place 1 cup of yogurt into a mixing jug and add 2 eggs and mix well.
- Add 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour to the jug and mix well.
We are looking for medium to thick mixture. If you think it’s too runny, add a little more flour. Don’t worry too much over the thickness, it will still cook.
Adding Musaka Topping
- After the 25 minutes. Take your casserole from the oven. Most, if not all of your water should have evaporated.
- Pour on your yogurt mix all over the top of your dish, don’t worry if it is a little on the thin side and seeps down into the ingredients .
Turn up the oven a little more
Replace the musaka in the oven and cook until your yogurt mix topping has turned a lovely brown colour you like the look of. ( 25- 45 minutes)
Sometimes depending on your yogurt mixture, it may take longer to brown. If you are hungry it will still be ok to eat if it is still white.
Serve hot or cold, on its own with salad or Yogurt or whatever else takes your fancy and enjoy.
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Chubritsa For that Authentic Taste of Bulgaria!
Chubritsa is a traditional Bulgarian seasoning with a distinctly unique flavor and harmonic aroma. It can be used on toasted breads, meats, cheeses, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, rice dishes, potatoes and more. Just sprinkle on your favorite food and enjoy!
Slicer Dicers. Every Kitchen Should Have One!
This is one great tool that could be used every day in your kitchen saving you much time and energy.
There are many different makes out there and so choosing a good quality appliance is helped by reading the reveiws of what other customers have expereinced.
We use the Briefton and have been more than happy with it. Amazon.UK have a great offer on at the moment so check it out.
Oven Casserole Dishes
Check out the many shapes and sizes when it comes to choosing your casserole dishes.
These two casserole dishes are a good size for the Bulgarian Musaka dish
Bulgarian Recipes. Kindle Editions
The traditional Bulgarian cuisine is a mixture of classic Bulgarian meals with dishes from the Slavonic, Greek, Turkish and other European cuisines. Cooking traditions in Bulgaria are centuries old.
Recipes are greatly influenced by the 500 year invasion when they were forced to become part of the Byzantine Empire. Foods within the country vary depending on the region from which they originate.