Maghmour is a thick, smokey eggplant version of moussaka from Lebanon. Traditionally the eggplant is fried, which although is very delicious, it requires a lot of oil and longer cooking time.
My easy and healthier alternative roasts the eggplant in thick wedges to become beautifully soft and tender with golden caramelisation. The whole thing is then finished in the oven with a chickpea tomato sauce and a zataar feta crumb.
It’s your choice whether to use fresh or tinned tomatoes, or a combination of both! I would usually use fresh in summer and cook them down for a bit longer to release their juice. Here I’ve used a combination.
1 large eggplant, quartered into 4 wedges
1 red onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp dried mint
½ tsp chilli flakes
1x 400g can whole plum tomatoes
200g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
250g cooked chickpeas (or 1x 400g can)
1 lemon, zested
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp zata’ar
100g feta, crumbled (sub for vegan cheese or omit)
Handful of parsley leaves, to garnish
1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan. Place the eggplant wedges in a baking or casserole dish. Season liberally with salt, pepper and a generous amount of olive oil. Cook the eggplant for 25-30 minutes until soft and caramelised.
2. Heat a deep frying pan with a generous drizzle of olive oil. Fry the onion until softened and translucent, then add the tomato puree, garlic and spices and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes until thick, reduced and jammy. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, feta, lemon zest and zaatar.
4. When the eggplants are cooked and tender, spoon over the tomato chickpea sauce. Scatter over the feta crumb and drizzle with olive oil. Return to the oven or a low grill for 5 minutes, until the crumb is golden and crispy. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and the parsley leaves.