Last week, my husband unexpectedly came back home for dinner (No! No! Don’t get me wrong!! Usually, hubby is at home for dinner, but that day, I was told in the morning, "Boss is in town and we have a business meeting, so don't make dinner for me!! " Taking advantage of his being absent, me and kiddos planned to have Maggi that night for dinner - infact my son was super excited about it as he absolutely loves maggi and because he is not allowed to have it so often totally craves for it too!! Unfortunately, hubby's dinner plans got cancelled as the boss fell sick. With the result,all our exciting plans for that night got thwarted!!
Hubby hates having Maggi and also after a long tiring day at work, I thought the poor guy deserved a little better. Having planned nothing for dinner, I quickly scoured through my fridge, to see if there were any leftovers, but unfortunately having gotten into a huge cleaning spree that day itself in the morning (I had cleaned up the entire fridge(literally) and gave away all the left-over 'katori khana' to my maid), all I could see were some miserable looking aubergines and carrots lying in the vegetable basket!! Not in the mood to spend too much time in the kitchen I decided to make do with whatever was available. After much digging, I also found some Marinara sauce tucked away in the freezer. (Thankfully!! I always keep Marinara sauce ready in my freezer to make my pizzas and pastas in a jiffy.) I thought of what struck me as the easiest - an Eggplant and Marinara sauce Bake !!
Once I knew what had to be done, I single mindedly set about my task.
I quickly sliced the eggplants thinly, washed them, patted them dry and popped them in the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil till they were nice and tender. On the other burner, I made my white sauce, a quick swirl of the olive oil, a spoonful of wheat flour (to keep it healthy ), a quick stir and then in went some milk , a dash of salt and pepper, a touch of mustard powder, all mixed together and heated for a minute to give you the smoothest silkiest sauce ever. (I was amazed at my own multi-tasking skills.)
Voila!! I was all done!! Ready and armed with all the ingredients, I headed for the grand finale!! First, I layered the bottom of a dish with slices of eggplants, some marinara sauce on top, then the eggplant layer again and then a bit more Marinara sauce. Finishing it with a blanket of white sauce and some dazzling grated mozzarella cheese for the topping. As everything was already cooked, it needed just a few minutes in the microwave and I was literally ready to do a head stand!! (If you have enough time and are not in a hurry like I was, bake the dish in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes for a perfect finish.)
It just couldn't have been simpler than this. Fortunately for him, it also turned out really delicious!!
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 medium eggplants, sliced 1/2" thick
2 cups Marinara sauce
1 cup White sauce
1/2 cups mozzarella sauce, grated
1 tsp dried Thyme
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and cook the eggplant slices till they are slightly soft and browned on both the sides.
Remove to a platter.
Take an 8-inch square dish and layer the bottom with a layer of eggplant slices.
Cover the eggplants with a thin layer of Marinara Sauce.
Then, add in another layer of eggplants,
The Marinara Sauce again.......
Pour in the white sauce
A sprinkle of dried Thyme.....
And finally a handful of grated Mozarella cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for about 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and nicely browned on the top.
Let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.This is a real simple, tuned-down version of a Greek Moussaka especially for times when you have to think of making something in a hurry. If you do have a little time on your hands and want to make something more elaborate for dinner, you can even try a Vegetarian Moussaka with soya granules or try out the classic version with a layer of minced meat. It is absolutely delicious, a dish so hassle-free and quick that you would definitely be making this again and again.