Musakaa fried eggplant in tomato sauce with chickpeas served on a white plate.
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Aubergine meets chickpea: Musaka'a

Musaka'a - the name sounds familiar, doesn't it? Does it remind you of the Greek moussaka? In fact, not only the name is quite similar here - the dishes are even related! In this version, delicious fried eggplants come with chickpeas in a super aromatic tomato sauce.

Once upon a time ... "The Cold"

"You shiny little eggplant - gutschi gutschi guuuuh!"
Seriously? Me, an eggplant??? That's what my cousin (she lives in the US) said to me when we first met 20 years ago (she was 26).

I was 15, in the full bloom of puberty, "slightly" overweight and very intimidated - but I had my hand in my mouth at that very moment.... So, I was just eating this delicious musaka'a with a piece of pita bread and staring at her with wide eyes. I'll probably never forget that particular moment.

Musaka'a means "the cold one". That's what I've been calling my cousin ever since... But the name comes more from the fact that this vegan dish is actually enjoyed cold, or at room temperature. Quite in contrast to its Greek relative Moussaka, which is served hot as a casserole with meat.

A delight as a mezze or as a main course!

You can serve the fried eggplant with chickpeas in tomato sauce as a main dish or as an appetizer as part of a meze. Personally, I could always eat my fill of it alone. But the meze I still like to take 😉

The preparation is very easy. You simply slice the eggplants, deep-fry them or fry them in a pan with lots of oil. Then the fried slices go into a hearty tomato sauce with garlic, onions and a good pinch of cinnamon.

A special feature are the chickpeas, which must still be slightly firm to the bite in the musaka'a. At least that's the tradition here. Of course, you can also save time and effort by using chickpeas that have already been cooked. By the way, you can learn everything you need to know about chickpeas in my guide.

The deep-fried aubgerines in tomato sauce are best served with fresh pita bread or placed in slices on crusty baguette. Enjoy your meal!

Recipe for Musaka'a

Musakaa fried eggplant in tomato sauce with chickpeas served on a white plate.
Print recipe Save recipe
Preparation time 20 minutes
Preparation time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Servings 2 People
Calories 429


  • 100 g dried chickpeas
  • 2 Eggplants
  • 2 Onions
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 400 g diced tomatoes small can
  • 2 TBSP Tomato paste
  • 50 ml Water
  • 4 TBSP Olive oil
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon
  • 1 handful flat leaf parsley chopped
  • Salt, pepper


  • Soak the chickpeas in water overnight.
  • drain the soaked chickpeas and spread them between two kitchen towels. Now run the bottom of a saucepan over the covered chickpeas with gentle pressure.
  • The chickpeas should now have lost their skin and most of them should have been halved. Sort out the skin and halve the remaining chickpeas.
  • Cut off the stem of the aubergine and slice the aubergine lengthwise.
  • Lay out kitchen paper on plates.
  • Aubergines either deep-fry on both sides in the deep fryer or fry in the frying pan until golden brown.
  • Leave the fried aubergines to cool on the kitchen paper.
  • Cut the onions into half rings and crush the garlic - fry both in a pan with oil for 5 minutes over medium heat.
  • Now fry the tomato paste briefly.
  • Then add the diced tomatoes, the chickpeas and the water and let the sauce bubble, covered, over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Season the tomato sauce with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
  • Place the fried aubergine slices in the sauce, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
  • Garnish the musaka'a with chopped parsley when serving.


Recipe contains affiliate links. 

Nutritional values

Calories: 429kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 2233mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 754IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 250mg | Iron: 6mg

Also be sure to try the Eggplant Shakshuka or the Baked Feta with Eggplant and Chickpeas.

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  1. I first came across the combination of fried aubergine and tomato in Greece. With cinnamon. Quite delicious. The Lebanese version with chickpeas also sounds great. I'll add it to the list of things to cook.

    1. Hey, thank you so much 🙂
      Really looking forward to hearing how you liked it 🙂 .

  2. A great blog! I love aubergines, and chickpeas too, and the combination of both is just great. And I didn't know the trick for skinning chickpeas yet - thanks for that!

    1. Hey Sabine, thank you so much for your great feedback 🙂 .

  3. Wahhhh, what a great recipe.
    It reads so wonderfully already. Hach.....I will definitely be cooking it up. Thanks for the great recipe 🙂

    Feel pressed
    Katti | Pottgewächs

    1. Hey Katti, thanks a million for the flowers :*
      Enjoy it 🙂

    1. Hey Anja,

      Thank you for your feedback. I am very curious to see how you like it.

  4. The aubergines must just taste so good, there are only delicious ingredients in the recipe 🙂 A beautiful recipe and a very nice blog!
    All the love,

    1. Hey Julia,

      Thank you very much for the compliment. I also like your blog very much 🙂

      Kind regards

  5. Tried it tonight and it was very tasty!!! We seasoned it with cumin and put a blob of yoghurt on top - mmh 😀 my husband and I love Lebanese cuisine!!! Looking forward to more dishes 😊

    1. Hi Ina, I'm really pleased that you liked it. Hmm... I'd like to try that with the cumin and the yoghurt, too 🙂

      Kind regards

  6. The most delicious aubergines ever! Now I'm going to keep cooking my way through this great blog. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi Rafik,
    the trick with the chickpea skins is great, it's really fun! I added some sriracha sauce, otherwise it was too lame for me. Probably more salt would have helped too? I also cooked the sauce with the chickpeas for the whole 30 minutes, 10 minutes cooking time for the chickpeas seemed too short to me. And they still had bite afterwards. It tasted good!

  8. So, today I prepared a real feast for me and my boyfriend: Falafel, labneh, m'saka'a, butter rice and baba ganoush - all with your recipes! Altobelli, that was awesome! The falafels went wrong because your recipe is made for deep fryers and unfortunately we don't have one, but they still tasted great! And the m'saka'a ... a dream! And we don't really like aubergine! Thank you, thank you, thank you for these great recipes! I'm going to roll into bed now! 😃

    1. Hey Justyna,
      Wow! You have conjured up a really awesome table - mega! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.
      And thank you for the flowers 🙂
      Best regards

  9. Dear Rafik,
    I tried the first recipe from your blog and am already in love!
    Simply amazing.
    Now I'm going to try all your recipes 😉 .
    Thank you so much to you and your mum for this!

    1. Hi Kristina, thank you so much for your fantastic feedback. I am very pleased that you liked it. I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of the rest of the recipes.
      Best regards

  10. 5 stars
    Your Musaka'a together with pita bread and Baba Ganoush is a big hit with our guests! Thanks for your great recipes, I'm off to the kitchen to start preparing for tonight.

    1. Hello Michaela,
      Thank you very much for your great feedback. I'm really pleased that you like it so much 🙂 I hope you continue to enjoy it.
      I hope you continue to have fun cooking and enjoying.

      Kind regards

  11. Dear Rafik,
    this looks delicious to eat! Exactly to my taste! Thanks for the great recipe, will certainly try it soon!
    Kindest regards from Toni

    1. Hi Toni,
      thank you very much for your great feedback 🙂

      Kind regards

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