We are proud of having more than 150 eggplant dishes in Turkish cuisine, including karniyarik, imam bayildi, kebabs, salads, and more. And eggplant moussaka, as we say, “patlıcan oturtma / or patlıcan musakka” in Turkish, is one of the most common ones you can find in-home cooking


  • 1 kg. preferably medium-size eggplant (big ones are ok too)
  • salt and water to soak the eggplants
  • vegetable oil to fry the eggplants
  • 200-300gr. minced meat
  • 1 big onion
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-4 sweet green peppers (you can use bell pepper if you can’t find them)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp red pepper paste
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp or more black pepper
  • 3-4 medium size tomatoes (1 for the meat mixture, other for the top)
  • 2-3 potatoes (optional)

How to Make “Turkish Eggplant Moussaka”

Soaking the eggplants in salty water

Preparing & Frying Eggplants

  1. Wash the eggplants, cut the stems out and peel in strips. Slice them in less than 2 cm thickness and soak in salty water for at least 45 minutes using 2 tsp salt and water to cover them all.
  2. Squeeze the water from the eggplants as much as you can and drain. Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Fry in hot vegetable oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan to prevent lowering the oil temperature and fry in 3-4 batches. If you use potatoes fry them first and place them to the bottom of a wide pan and continue to layer the fried eggplants.

Cooking Meat Sauce and Assembling:

  1. Sauté diced onion on heated olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add minced meat and continue to sauté until the meat’s color turns and the juice is evaporated.
  2. Add tomato and red pepper paste, stir for 1 minute. Chop the garlic coarsely and add to the mixture along with salt, black pepper to taste. Finally, add one peeled and chopped tomato. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the meat mixture over the fried eggplants. Slice tomatoes and arrange over the meat mixture. Add enough hot water not to cover the dish but a little less.
  4. Cook the eggplant moussaka “Patlıcan oturtma” on low medium heat until everything is soft for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for 20 minutes If you have time and serve with rice pilaf or fresh bread.
eggplant moussaka “patlıcan oturtma/ musakka”
Try these delicious eggplant recipes too:
Chicken Kebabs In Guvech With Eggplant & Mushrooms
Turkish Kofte With Eggplant Base & Tomato Sauce
Eggplant Lover’s Turkish Online Cooking Class”
Stuffed Eggplant “Karnıyarık”

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