From Raghavan Iyer's cookbook, Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked, this delicious, Vegetarian Potato Moussaka recipe is packed with warm spices, tender slices of potato and caramelized eggplant.
This post is sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. As always, all opinions are my own.
I was so happy when the Idaho Potato Commission asked me to be a part a project called "Cook the Book" -- cooking and sharing recipes from From Raghavan Iyer's, Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked.
Cookbook Author, Raghavan Iyer
A native of Mumbai, Iyer is a James Beard Award winner and IACP Award–winning Teacher of the Year.
He's also the author of 660 Curries, Indian Cooking Unfolded, Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking, and The Turmeric Trail, and among other things, he's the host of the Emmy Award–winning documentary Asian Flavors. So who wouldn't want a potato recipe from this guy!?
In this book, whether Iyer smashes, mashes, boils or bakes the potato, he celebrates its beauty, versatility, and superb taste.
And of many varieties of the potato, too! (This Vegetarian Moussaka recipe uses Russets and Yukon Golds.)
Inside Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked
From this vegetarian Moussaka recipe, made with both Russets and Yukon Golds and a fiery Fingerling filled Patatas Bravas, to a delectable Irish Lamb stew made with red potatoes and sweet, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls -- you simply won't be able to get enough!
There is really something for everyone in this book, and today we'll make the Potato Moussaka, which is my new favorite vegetarian Moussaka recipe.
When I began researching Iyer, I read something he said that really resonated with me...
"The spices are the beauty of Indian food, and through them you can learn the beauty of India."
While you'll see hints of Indian cuisine in Smashed, Mashed, Boiled and Baked, it's not an Indian cookbook -- yet reading that quote made me want to cook everything in the book!
I think you can understand the allure of any culture through its food.
In addition to 75 mouth-watering recipes, Iyer also shares information about the history of potatoes, facts about potato nutrition, purchasing and storage tips, and menu options for special diets.
Enjoy this scrumptious Potato Moussaka!
Can't get enough Idaho potatoes? Check out Potatoes Through the Seasons.
Potato Moussaka Recipe
For the vegetable layers
- 2 pounds eggplant
- 2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
- extra-virgin olive oil for frying and for the pan
- 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, juices drained
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves (preferably Greek)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, ground
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
For the Bechamel sauce
- 1 pound russet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- 1 cup Kefalotyri or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shredded
For the vegetable layers
- Lop off the stem end of each eggplant and stand them up on their cut surface and slice them into ¼ inch-thick planks.
- Fill a medium-size bowl halfway with cold water. Peel the Yukon Gold potatoes and give them a good rinse under cold running water. Slice them lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick planks. Submerge them in the bowl of water to rinse off surface starch and to prevent them from discoloring.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil into a large skillet and heat it over medium heat. Once the oil appears to shimmer, arrange as many eggplant planks as you can in a single layer, without overlapping. Allow the underside to brown and soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the planks and repeat on the other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Lift them out of the skillet with tongs and place them in a stack on a large cookie sheet. Brown the remaining eggplant planks, adding more oil as needed. Add them to the stack on the cookie sheet when they’re done.
- Lay out several layers of paper towels or a clean cotton kitchen towel on the counter. Drain the potato planks in a colander and give them a good rinse under cold running water to remove any residual surface starch. Give the colander a good shake or two to rid the potatoes of excess water. Pat the potatoes dry on the paper towels. Pour another 2 tablespoons of oil into the skillet and heat over medium heat until it shimmers. Arrange a single layer of potato planks, without overcrowding. Once the underside browns slightly and the top looks opaque, 2 to 3 minutes, flip them over and repeat on the other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Lift them out of the skillet and set them in their own stack, on the same cookie sheet as the eggplant. Brown the remaining potato planks, adding them to their stack.
- Combine the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt in a medium-size bowl.
For the béchamel
- To start the béchamel sauce, peel the russet potatoes, cut them into quarters, and give them a good rinse under cold running water. Place them in a medium-size saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and gently boil the potatoes until the pieces fall apart quite easily when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
- While the potatoes boil, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Spoon in the flour and whisk it into the butter, making sure there are no lumps. Continue to cook the flour, whisking constantly, so the flour cooks evenly but does not start browning, about 1 minute. Pour in ½ cup of the milk, whisking to ensure a lump-free sauce. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1 ½ cups of milk. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, uncovered, whisking occasionally, until it starts to thicken and bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Whisk a few tablespoons of the sauce into the beaten egg to warm it. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce along with the nutmeg and salt and give it all a good whisking. Set the béchamel sauce aside. Once the potatoes are ready, drain them into a colander and return the pieces to the dry pan. Return the pan to the burner, and over low heat, dry the potatoes of any residual water that may cling to their surfaces, about 30 seconds.
- Working in batches if necessary, transfer the potatoes to a ricer and press them through directly into the béchamel. (If you don’t have a ricer, use a potato masher and fluff them with a fork when completely mashed, then add them to the sauce.) Sprinkle in the cheese and fold the potatoes and cheese into the béchamel.
To assemble and bake
- Now you are ready to assemble the moussaka. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with some oil.
- Arrange half of the potato planks as the bottom layer. (A little overlapping is fine.) Spoon on half of the seasoned tomatoes and top with a layer of half of the eggplant. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Top it off with the béchamel sauce, spreading the sauce evenly with a spatula.
- Bake the moussaka, uncovered, until bubbly and the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve hot.
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I like all potatoes, I think. Especially when they're warm and with cheese – comfort food!
I totally agree, Peter! 🙂
This is one of my favourite meals and we ate it so much when we were island hopppng around Greece.
Lucky you to be Island hopping in Greece! Sounds dreamy. 🙂
Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health
This moussaka looks absolutely delicious Valentina. Love the spices you used here - oregano, cumin, nutmeg... just yum! I'm saving this recipe to try. I haven't made moussaka in a long looong time! It's a very common dish here in Croatia btw. Thanks for reminder 😉 Pinning and sharing!
Thanks Natalie! Hope you give it a try. I loved it. And thank you for sharing!
It sounds like a great book and that moussaka looks incredible!
Thanks, Emily. I am really enjoying the book -- all of the recipes look delicious and interesting.
We love Greek food and this is something I never have tried to make before.
Hope you try it, Maria!
...and the beauty of cooking is learning of these new cultures through their food. GREG
so true. love it, Greg! 🙂
We absolutely love Greek food mainly for its flavors and also because we have many vegetarian options. Love Raghavan Iyer's book and I have made a few of his. This book sounds very interesting and so does the recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! I am looking forward to checking out some of his other books. 🙂
I love oven baked sweet potato fries with topped with a bit of cinnamon, cayenne, rosemary and finished with a drizzle of honey!
Jeffery, that sounds amazing! Wish I had some of those fries now. 🙂 Thanks!
Ann @ Bake du Jour
I love love LOVE potatoes! And these are made with caramelized eggplants?! Mmm, it almost sounds too good to be true. My favorite potato dish is sweet potatoes topped with a bed of marshmallows. That really hits the spot for me. Thanks for sharing this!
Thank you for checking it out! And I love sweet potatoes with marshmallows. My mom and I used to joke about how she'd say she didn't want anyone to bring it to Thanksgiving, and then it would be the first platter emptied. 🙂
Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
Moussaka always reminds me of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' lol. I need to try this!!!
Enjoy! Thanks for visiting. 🙂
Geoffrey @ Spoonabilities
I dont think i've every had maossaka before. Love potatoes, and love béchamel, so we're good to go! Thanks for posting this!
Thanks so much. You must try Moussaka! This one, or another -- but it's a must for a food lover. 🙂
wow!! This is good! I have just had eggplant moussaka. bet the potato ones are just awesome!
Indeed it is! Thanks for checking it out. 🙂
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
I love any and all kinds of spuds. And nutmeg with potatoes is just magical! This looks like a wonderful dinner. I could happily eat the leftovers for a week!
Thanks, Dorothy! Totally agree about the nutmeg. Add the perfect warm touch of spice.
Kelly @ Tasting Page
I love the sweet potato, but this recipe looks pretty divine. Yum!
Thanks, Kelly. I adore sweet potatoes, too. 🙂
Peeled, rubbed with butter and roasted.
Oh yum! I like the sound of that, Jane!
Yum, yum, yum! This looks amazing! Can't wait to try it!
Thanks, Linda! Hope you love it! 😀
Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought
Love Indian food, even if it is only a hint. The Potato Moussaka looks so delcicious and perfect comfort food on these cold rainy days.
Thanks, Cathy. I'm loving these cold rainy days! Finally!
Judy @ My Well Seasoned Life
This Potato Moussaka looks so good that it will warm a home, heart and tummy.
Which I'd thought of that line, Judy. Perfect. 🙂 xo
Adair @ Lentil Breakdown
Wow, your pics are beyond fabulous! I LOVE moussaka but haven't eaten it in years because it usually has beef or lamb but would love to try this!
Thanks, Adair! I think you'd love this one. And we could figure out a way to make the béchamel dairy free, too. 🙂
I love yukon gold potatoes!
Me too! They're so creamy and buttery! 🙂
Wow this looks interesting. My sister in law is from Greece. I have never had moussaka. My husband loves potatoes. I try to add them to our dinners when possible. I usually just do mashed or baked though.
Mashed and baked with a little butter, salt and pepper can be the most delicious! Thanks! 🙂
I love bintje potatoes. I find that they hold their shape well when boiled for potato salad.
Lind, I love those also! Such a great texture. Thanks!
The Potato Moussaka looks amazing. I want to make it and I hope I win the cookbook. Never met a potato I didn't love. Duchesse Potatoes in honor of Julia Child!
Thanks so much, Patricia! I'm always happy to honor Julia! With potatoes & wine! 😉
I am a big fan of anything with eggplant, so this sounds perfect. While I am not a vegetarian, we do eat a lot of vegetarian meals - because they are so good! I like that the eggplants are sliced into planks, I will have to try that with my other eggplant recipes.
I'm totally the same David -- I eat all sorts of meat, but love a good vegetarian dish, too. This one is great and I'm loving the book. 🙂
Just added the to my list for “must make” in January... bought the eggplant at the market yesterday not even knowing I was going to be reminded of this today!
I hope you love it! This one I followed the author's instructions exactly and it was spot on! Enjoy!
Tracy | Baking Mischief
This sounds like just my sort of cookbook. Any excuse to cook potatoes and I'm in! 😉 And this Potato Moussaka looks delish! All those layers are making me seriously hungry.
Thanks, Tracy. I'm with you on cooking potatoes. 🙂
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
This looks absolutely mouthwatering.... I want to reach through the screen! Beautiful photo, too!
Thanks, Lisa! 🙂
I like Raghavan Iyer's cookbook, so I'm sure going to look for this this potato cookbook. Love this potato moussaka as it looks delicious, and it has my favorite spices -- oregano, cumin and nutmeg.
Thank you! I LOVE those three spices also. The really add warmth to a dish.
Meg | Meg is Well
That sounds like a book I need to buy immediately. I will never get tired of eating potatoes. I've never heard of moussaka before either. It seems like a lot of work but oh my gosh does it look and sound good.
Thanks Meg. It's somewhat time consuming, but not hard at all. You'll love it. 🙂
David @ CookingChat
great looking dish! sounds like a good cookbook, too.
I prefer baby Yukon gold potatoes but am open to trying others. I don't eat a lot of potatoes and being single I have to be selective or I will pay a fortune for just a couple nuggets. I have been trying to find/make the perfect roasted Greek potato recipe and have a couple that fit the bill. I used to have access to them in a deli that was in an out-of-the-way location. Needless to say, I bought some every time I passed by!
Yukon Gold are definitely at the top of my list, too. So buttery and creamy! Good luck towards winning the book -- then you can try a ton of new things! 🙂 Thank you for visiting my site.
My favorite potato variety maybe Yukon Gold, or wait, oh my goodness, it's so hard to choose. Same with a potato recipe! Maybe just FRENCH FRIES! haha!
Awesome recipe and cookbook sounds fab, Valentina!
Thanks, Christina. Hard to choose, I know. 😉 xo
I love all kinds of potatoes so I don't have a favorite. My favorite potato dish is my mom's scalloped potatoes.
Hard to pick a favorite, I know! 😉 I love scalloped potatoes!
Hi Has anyone tried it with the eggs for the top bit?
I haven't tried it with egg. . . . anyone else?