Vegetarian moussaka with apple tzatziki

You definitely won't miss the lamb in this delicious vegetarian moussaka recipe from Alfred Prasad. The chef uses black quinoa, Mastelo cheese (a hard Greek cheese from Chios) and a fragrant tomato sauce to create a rich filling for the traditional aubergine slices, although here they are presented as elegant rolls as opposed to the classic layered bake. Wrapped in foil, this version can also be cooked on the barbecue for a summer feast, although feel free to heat through in a large dish (as if cooking cannelloni) if preferred.

First published in 2016




Moussaka sauce

Aubergine rolls

Apple tzatziki

To serve


To make the moussaka sauce, add the olive oil to a large pan and warm through over a low heat. Sauté the garlic and bay leaves for a few minutes until fragrant, then add the chilli flakes and paprika, cooking for a further 30 seconds to combine
Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and sugar and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to create a thick, rich sauce
Meanwhile, place the black quinoa in a separate pan with 100ml of water. Bring to the boil over a low heat and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Set aside
Preheat a barbecue, grill or griddle pan
While warming up, finish off the moussaka sauce by stirring in the capers and seasoning with a little salt to taste. Set aside until ready to assemble
Trim the top and bottom of the aubergines to create square edges then cut lengthways into 5mm thick slices. Repeat with the courgettes to create thin slices, discarding any end pieces that are mostly the vegetable's skin
Place the slices on the hot grill or griddle to char and soften slightly. Cook for a few minutes on each side then set aside
To assemble the rolls, have the cooked aubergine and courgette slices, the cooked quinoa, and the moussaka sauce to hand. Trim the cheese into 5mm thick slices, then cut again into 5mm thick batons and keep ready
  • 200g of hard cheese, such as Mastelo cheese or other vegetarian alternative
Line a baking tray with baking paper and brush over the olive oil. Lay out the aubergine slices and spread a thin layer of the sauce over each one (discarding any bay leaves). Sprinkle over the cooked quinoa then lay a courgette slice over the top
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
Place a cheese baton at one end of each stack, sprinkle over a little salt then roll up to fully enclose the fillings in the aubergine slice. Place on the oiled baking paper with the join underneath to hold in place
Double up large sheets of tin foil to create 4 large rectangles. Divide the remaining moussaka sauce between the foil pieces, spooning it in the centre of the rectangle, then arrange 4–5 rolls on top. Fold the foil up around the rolls and seal the edges – repeat to create 4 portions
Place on the hot barbecue or grill to steam for about 8 minutes, or until fully heated through
Meanwhile, mix together the minced garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt in a bowl for the tzatziki. Stir through the Greek yoghurt followed by the apple, cucumber and dill
To serve, pierce the foil parcels to release any steam then transfer the cooked rolls to serving plates. Spoon over the hot sauce from the parcel and garnish with a few capers, a sprinkling of oregano and a few sprigs of fresh parsley
Serve with the tzatziki on the side and some warm pitta breads dusted with a little paprika
  • pitta bread, toasted
  • paprika, to sprinkle
First published in 2016

Alfred Prasad’s years at Tamarind saw the restaurant awarded one Michelin star, which it retained, and a stack of accolades (including numerous ‘Indian Restaurant Of The Year’ titles).

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