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The moussaka I grew up with featured eggplant as the main ingredient and came topped with a béchamel source. But that would be moussaka of the Greek variety. Love potatoes? Want a moussaka that is lighter? How about Bulgarian moussaka featuring potato and yogurt?
Lighter than its Greek cousin and fabulous if eggplants are not to your taste or out of season, Bulgarian moussaka can be comfortably consumed in summer if you are looking for some comfort food. The topping is yogurt-based, easy and quick to prepare and maybe healthier than a béchamel topping.
And here is yet another classic, well-known meal with a Bulgarian twist featuring fabulous, Bulgarian yogurt. Yogurt features in many traditional Bulgarian meals and turns up in the most unexpected places like this recipe. Not much is known about Bulgarian food which is a shame as its cuisine has a lot to offer.
Bulgarian Food Flies Under the Radar
Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey share many, common foods and drinks, including those of the alcoholic variety. But strangely you rarely see the Bulgarian option featured. Greece and to a lesser extent Turkey, take most of the glory, but the truth is that food is very similar and just as good in Bulgaria. Why is this?
Surely, some of this marketing? People know all about Greece and Turkey but most people don’t even know where Bulgaria is. There is a lot of romance and mysticism associated with the Greek Islands and the Aegean Sea and deservedly so it is a spectacular region.
But the English name given to the sea off the coast off Bulgaria is called the Black Sea. It doesn’t quite have the same ring does it? But I can tell you it is just as spectacular in its own way but without the glitz, glamor and higher prices of its nearby neighbors.
We found the cost of food and drink in Bulgaria to be quite cheap in an otherwise expensive continent. If you are lucky enough to be going to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, you can pick up a free food tour with Balkan Bites. And don’t forget to seek out Bulgarian moussaka, you won’t be disappointed.
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Bulgarian Moussaka Features Potatoes and Yogurt
Who would have thought? Moussaka made with potatoes instead of eggplant and topped with yogurt and milk instead of béchamel sauce.
It’s easier to make than the Greek version and it is lighter. Using potato it might even be more “acceptable” to children and those that are not fans of eggplant
Read on for the recipe.
|Servings||Prep Time||Cook Time|
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, brown chopped
- 1 lb pork, ground (minced)
- 1 tsp black pepper, ground
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp salt, ground sea
- 2 lb potatoes diced
- 1 cup yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- Pre-heat oven to 420 f (215 c).
- Heat half the oil in a pan over a moderate heat and cook the onion until golden brown. Add the ground pork, pepper, paprika and half the salt. Cook until the meat is well browned. Put aside.
- In a large casserole dish, spread the remaining oil over the bottom. Place half the diced potato on the bottom. Layer the meat mixture over the potato and then layer the remaining diced potato over the meat. Pour enough cold water over the moussaka to cover about half of the top potato layer. Sprinkle the remaining salt over the top.
- Place the casserole in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes. By that time the water should be simmering.
- Meanwhile combine the yogurt, milk and eggs, whisking well to combine.
- After the first 15 minutes cooking time, pour the yogurt mixture over the moussaka and sprinkle some paprika over the top. Return to the oven and cook for a further 30 to 45 minutes or until the yogurt top is golden brown.
First of all what a beautiful post! And I love the combinations of potatoes and yogurt with the ground pork – this would be very popular in our house. Thanks!
Thanks Judy. We really like to combine the cooking with the fun we have experienced when traveling in these countries. You never here anything about Bulgarian travel or food, so we are more than happy to spread the word.
I’ve never had a Bulgarian dish before. How can that be possible?? This one has all of the flavors I love and sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to make it 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Sarah, I hope you enjoy your adventures with Bulgarian cooking. If you love yogurt then there are many other dishes from Bulgaria you would enjoy.
This sounds fantastic and looks so delicious! The list of ingredients makes me think of fall comfort food…thanks for posting just when I’m starting to think of fall dishes!
I hope you enjoy it Lisa. It is certainly lighter than the eggplant and bechamel sauce version. And maybe more appealing to kids.
This sounds so delicious. I must try it.
I hope you enjoy it Amanda. We certainly did.
Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
Ooh I’ve never heard of a Bulgarian moussaka! This version looks just as delicious as the version I’m used to though 🙂
It’s worth a try if not just to to see which is the superior version. Coming into fall is the perfect time.