This lunar new year is an unusual one.
Firstly, it started off with the idea that yours truly shall be in charge of reunion dinner. [Fyi, like most working adults in Singapore, I seldom cook except on weekends.] Secondly, the floods in Malaysia resulted in cancelled train services so the number of attendees (a.k.a. guinea pigs of this chef wannabe) for the reunion dinner was unexpectedly reduced. Thirdly, in my endeavours to grocery-shop for the CNY, I came across this large brinjal for S$1.90.
Of course, later on when the expected number of attendees reduced (at least that’s what I thought at that time), I had to think of what else I could do with this brinjal – the original idea was to make some kind of vegetable curry.
In the end, I decided to make tofu moussaka (the reunion dinner theme was meatless). The first attempt was unfortunately too soggy and too much salt. Probably a combination of too much water content from the brinjal, tomato and tofu.
The second attempt – which I did only the day after CNY eve – was a lot better. This time, substituted tomato with broccoli and added garlic into the mashed tofu mix (water strained out). Also, the brinjal slices were thoroughly dried with kitchen paper towels.
There’s a reason why I’m not cut out for writing food/cooking blogs – I don’t remember the quantity of whatever it is I put into this. I can tell you what the key ingredients are though:
- Brinjal – thinly-sliced for layering.
- Broccoli – chopped into cubes
- Tomato – diced
- 1 square firm tofu (optional to mix with a soft tofu) – mashed
- 2-3 eggs – beaten
- just a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (not too much, or optionally none)
- salt, pepper & herbs to taste
The first time round, I used a round aluminium tray (maybe 22cm in diameter). The second time round, I used a square aluminium tray (maybe 22cm x 22cm). 1 tray feeds about 4 people with bird-like appetites. Or 1 ultra-hungry person. The size of the tray is dictated by the size of the oven we have at home, which is not very big. Nor is it very hot – maximum temperature is 250 deg C. But the maximum temperature seemed sufficient for this meatless dish.
The square tray makes the end result look more like a lasagna – which was what I originally named this dish – brinjal lasagna, i.e. instead of layers of pasta, you get layers of brinjal. It could also be a quiche of some sort, because of the egg and broccoli. But I think tofu moussaka sounds the most exotic.
Yeah, yeah I know what you may say – what’s with the angmoh dishes for lunar new year?! Well, this is just the only dish that’s angmoh – and even so, only the parmesan cheese is the most western item. I think it’s entirely possible to do this dish without cheese. Oh and of course, it’s interesting enough to experiment at a large gathering. Hehe.