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Fatteh – baked chickpea/pita dish


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#1 zora

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Posted 17 May 2004 - 03:41 PM

Any tips on making this? Smithy's query about Lebanese food in Cairo reminded me how much I liked this dish, which I often ate at a place in Mohandiseen.

I recently tried to recreate it just from memory, and failed. Then I read some recipes, but all seemed nothing like what I'd eaten: little to no lemon and garlic, which I remember in abundance, and one didn't even call for baking anything... But I used to get it in a hot ramekin, with some crispy bits of pita, some chewy, and a layer of garlicky yogurt on top. In my experiments, my pita got all mushy and the yogurt completely dissolved.

Also, I've seen fattet makdus on some Syrian menus, which makes me think there's a whole category of fatteh dishes, with fattet hummus being the most common...true?

Many thanks in advance for grandmotherly tips...
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#2 FoodMan

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 03:03 PM

Hopefully my reply is not too late but here it goes. True, Fatte is a whole category of food items. The word fatte refers to the brocken pieces of toasted or fried bread that top the dish which normally includes yogurt as well. The most common is the Chickpea (hummus) one. It is very simple. Blend some yogurt with mashed garlic, lemon juice and salt to taste. Boil chickpeas that have been soaked overnight till very soft. Toast or ;even better; fry a couple of sheets of pita bread. Now to assemble just season the chickpeas and drizzle with a little olive oil, top with broken pieces of crispy bread, then drizzle generously with the yogurt. Garnish with some fried pine nuts and almonds if desired. Eat right away or the bread gets soggy.
Other Fattes include eggplant or other veggies instead of chickpeas, a popular one is "Fattet Makadem" or lamb trotter fatte, and many others. If you are interested I can look in my huge Lebanese cookbook (in Arabic) and find you a more detailed list.


Elie

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#3 zora

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 06:50 PM

Thanks, FoodMan! Not too late at all--in fact, just yesterday I cooked up some chickpeas, thinking I would wing it. Now I'll try your technique.

I hadn't tried mixing the garlic and lemon in with the yogurt--I'd been mixing it with the chickpeas instead...not very satisfying.

So you don't typically heat the yogurt up, or bake the whole thing? I kind of remember having it very hot, but maybe it was just ambient summer heat I'm thinking of.

Fatteh...Fattoush... Looking in my Arabic dictionary, and of course there's a verb, fatta, for crumbling up...It's all coming together.

What's your giant Lebanese cookbook? I read Arabic too...
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#4 FoodMan

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Posted 08 June 2004 - 08:46 AM

Zora-
All fattes that I know do not have the yogurt baked with them, but I guess some could have it this way. However, the yogurt will curdle if baked at a high temperature, something to keep in mind. Also, the cold yogurt over the hot base makes for a very delicious combination. Let us know how your fatte came out.
The book I’m talking about is this one, Click Here. I bought it a few weeks ago in Beirut for it’s actual price ($30), also see the author’s website for more information about it at www.cheframzi.net. It truly is a very good book with lots of authentic, traditional Lebanese recipes, glossy colored pictures and lots of history and background. It really is worth more than the $30 I paid for it. Many of the recipes are very old and obscure collected from small towns and villages in Lebanon, that to me is very interesting. According to the author’s website, he is working on an English and Spanish versions.


Elie

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#5 zora

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 12:31 AM

Wow--thanks for the link. That book looks excellent--truly a motivation to get me back to working on my Arabic! I will order it posthaste.

Did another fatte trial last night. Stupidly did not follow your instructions precisely. I'll do it again with the remaining chickpeas and let you know. I think I'll also break down and buy Goya canned chickpeas, because I realized my pantry ones are about four years old. That can't help.
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#6 FoodMan

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Posted 10 June 2004 - 08:19 AM

Zora-
Please do tell, what went wrong with your fatte? It would be very helpful if we can discuss it. I made a stewed eggplant fatte a few days ago and posted about it in the dinner thread. It came out very good. Let me know if you would like my recipe.
BTW, canned chickpeas work very well as a substitute for dried ones in most applications.

Elie

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#7 archestratus

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Posted 12 June 2004 - 05:54 AM

There is indeed a whole category of fatta dishes. in fact, you could make them up at will. I'm not sure what problems you're having, but given how easy this dish is you shouldn't. Try my recipe and see if you have better luck.

Fattat Hummus

This is known as the poor man’s fatta, while those made with eggplant are the rich man’s. Eggplant was not as plentiful as chickpeas and was, after its acceptance as a new vegetable, considered noble because of its taste, shape, and skin color. The fatta are the pieces of Arabic flatbread that are ripped up to form the bottom layer, the foundation for the other food. In Syria and Lebanon Arabic flatbread is usually used, although some cooks use the local version of French bread. The Homsi (people from Homs, Syria) love to put mint into everything, as in this preparation, while Lebanese and Palestinian cooks prefer frying the bread in oil rather than toasting it.
1 1/2 cups hummus
2 cups dried chickpeas (about 1 pound), picked over, soaked in cold water to cover overnight, and drained
4 to 6 garlic cloves, to your taste, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole plain yogurt
1 to 2 teaspoons dried mint, to your taste
1 large khubz ‘arabi (Arabic flatbread or pita bread)
1. Prepare the hummus according to your favorite recipe.
2. Place the drained chickpeas in a pot of lightly salted water to cover by several inches. Bring the water to a boil over high heat until it foams, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the foam with a ladle and continue boiling until tender, about 3 hours; keep checking. Add hot water to the pot to keep the chickpeas continually covered. Drain, place the chickpeas in a pot of cold water, and rub off the thin white skins. Drain again and set aside.
3. In a mortar, pound the garlic and salt together until a creamy mush. Stir the garlic into the yogurt with the mint and beat with a fork until smooth.
4. Split open the flatbread and toast until hard and golden brown. Lay the bread on the bottom of a baking pan or deep platter. Spread the whole cooked chickpeas over the toasted bread. Cover with 1 to 1 1/2 cups hummus. Pour the yogurt on top of the hummus and serve.
Makes 4 servings

#8 zora

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Posted 15 June 2004 - 09:59 PM

Well, what goes wrong with my fatteh is that I keep insisting on heating the whole thing, out of some perhaps misremembered image of the dish in this little personal casserole that was too hot to touch, and the yogurt sort of bubbly. So it's my own fault. Basically, all the flavors just blend together too much the way I've been doing it.

And I was using my ancient dry chickpeas because I was too lazy to go to the store, knowing full well that the experts at Goya are much better at cooking them than I ever am. (Though some kind fellow eGulleter did advise me that adding baking soda helps soften them--does anyone know why this is? All that info is probably over on that giant dried bean thread, though...)

Anyhoo, I have canned chickpeas, good super-thick yogurt and my mortar and pestle at the ready, AND good advice. Will try it all again anon.

Thanks.
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#9 nessa

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 10:09 AM

I had fatteh at Al Amir's in Dallas last night. The menu described it as being chickpeas and tahini sauce over a bed of crispy pita. I had the option of adding chicken or beef. I chose chicken. What I got was a little dissapointing.
Nowhere in their description did they mention rice. What I got was a bunch of rice with a barely discernable sauce, with crispy pita, and topped with chicken. No chickpeas to be found anywhere. I asked the waitress about it and she said they were "in the sauce". It tasted good, but it wasn't what I was expecting so I was dissapointed. I was expecting a lot of chickpeas The rice was just ok. The baba ganoush that I got to go with it was absolutely freakin' outstanding. Now I'm on a quest to make fatteh and smokey baba ganoush.


#10 FoodMan

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 02:48 PM

I had fatteh at Al Amir's in Dallas last night. The menu described it as being chickpeas and tahini sauce over a bed of crispy pita. I had the option of adding chicken or beef. I chose chicken. What I got was a little dissapointing.
Nowhere in their description did they mention rice. What I got was a bunch of rice with a barely discernable sauce, with crispy pita, and topped with chicken. No chickpeas to be found anywhere. I asked the waitress about it and she said they were "in the sauce". It tasted good, but it wasn't what I was expecting so I was dissapointed. I was expecting a lot of chickpeas The rice was just ok. The baba ganoush that I got to go with it was absolutely freakin' outstanding. Now I'm on a quest to make fatteh and smokey baba ganoush.

nessa-
This Fatteh sounds dissappointing, sorry about the bad experience. Actually the only thing in the dish that has anything to do with Fatteh is the crispy bread. Chickpeas IN a Tahini sauce....this doesn't sound like any Fatteh I know, although eating Fatteh on top of rice is not uncommon especially rice made with chicken stock and flavored with some cinnamon.

Babba Ghanooj is a very simple dish to make. Let me know if you would like an expalantion for it.

Elie

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Houston, TX

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#11 Jake

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 07:30 PM

nessa-
This Fatteh sounds dissappointing, sorry about the bad experience. Actually the only thing in the dish that has anything to do with Fatteh is the crispy bread. Chickpeas IN a Tahini sauce....this doesn't sound like any Fatteh I know, although eating Fatteh on top of rice is not uncommon especially rice made with chicken stock and flavored with some cinnamon.

Babba Ghanooj is a very simple dish to make. Let me know if you would like an expalantion for it.

Elie

Elie,

Came across this thread and had to read as I love Middle Eastern food. Made the fatteh, it was fantastic, thank you.

My cousin's husband's mother (got that?) is Palestinian and a wonderful cook, and was my introduction to real middle eastern cooking. I would love your recipe for Babba Ghanooj as I have never been able to successfully duplicate hers from memory and the commercial ones are just awful.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.


#12 nessa

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Posted 21 June 2004 - 09:48 PM

nessa-
This Fatteh sounds dissappointing, sorry about the bad experience. Actually the only thing in the dish that has anything to do with Fatteh is the crispy bread. Chickpeas IN a Tahini sauce....this doesn't sound like any Fatteh I know, although eating Fatteh on top of rice is not uncommon especially rice made with chicken stock and flavored with some cinnamon.

Babba Ghanooj is a very simple dish to make. Let me know if you would like an expalantion for it.

Elie

Elie, heck yeah I want a recipe/explaination/any info you care to impart. I made it once and was rather dissapointed. It just lacked. This recipe I had Sat. night had smoked eggplant as the base, not just roasted. :wub: I've got a smoker so its on the menu just as soon as I come up with a recipe and method. I'm thinking of adding a little tahini, garlic and lemon. Am I even close to the mark?

I'm going to make your recipe for fatteh, since thats what inspired me to order it in the first place. I LOOOOOOOOVE me some chickpeas.


And while I've got your attention... what kind of rice is most commonly used in Lebanese cooking? The two Lebanese restaurants that I've been to so far served rice that I didn't like. I don't know if it was the method, or if it was the type of rice. But to me its like some kind of parboiled rice. It reminds me of that nasty rice you cook in a bag or that comes in frozen dinners.

Thanks ever so much for your help!



#13 FoodMan

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 08:11 AM

Jake and Nessa-
Here’s my basic Baba Ghanooj recipe/method:
-Roast a whole large eggplant (skin on), preferably on a charcoal grill. This is what gives it a smoky flavor, I seriously doubt the Lebanese restaurant you were at actually smoked the eggplant. Make sure you prick a few holes in it with a fork before roasting/grilling. Roast until it is very soft, you can tell by squeezing it gently with a pair of tongs.
- When it is cooked through let the eggplant cool to a manageable temperature, then peel the skin off or simply cut in half and scrape the flesh out.
-The rest of the ingredients are pretty much to taste, you can add more or less of them. I like to throw in 2 garlic cloves in the food processor first and chop them up with a few turns, then add the eggplant flesh and process some more. Now add a few tablespoons of tahini (maybe ¼ cup), be careful with this, you do not want it to be overpowering and you can always add more later. Last goes in lemon juice, cumin (about a teaspoon), and salt, all to taste but I like mine on the tangy side. Process till the mixture is nice and smooth.
-Serve garnished with chopped parsley, a few dashes of paprika or cayenne and drizzled with virgin olive oil.
Sorry I have no exact amounts but it really is very simple to make. I will write the quantities down next time I make it.

If you omit the tahini sauce and add olive oil, then you have “the poor man’s caviar” another excellent eggplant dish.

Nessa-
I know the rice you are talking about. I think some Lebanese restaurants have some horrible rice. It might actually be boiled and strained. Everyday Lebanese rice is very good and is usually made with Samneh (clarified butter).
Check out my course in the eGCI about Lebanese cooking. It talks a bit about it and it has a recipe. This should taste much better than the ones you’ve had in a restaurant.
Link to eGCI class on Lebanese cooking
If you are interested I can also post a variation with spices, almonds and pinenuts.


Elie

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#14 Jake

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 08:26 AM

Elie -

Cumin!! The missing ingredient I believe! Thanks very much. Don't worry about amounts, to taste is the only way to go.

If I may pick your brain a bit more, do you have any thoughts on the different brands of tahini? Are there any differences?

thank you.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

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#15 nessa

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 10:12 AM

All I have are a nasty gas grill and a smoker. Maybe I'll smoke it for a few minutes then throw it on the grill? I don't want it overly smokey.
I have to convince the SO that we either need a new grill, or that we need to build a yard pit...... wish me luck.

I'm interested in ANY recipe you want to post!
Thanks so much for the help, I'll get started on this ASAP!


#16 FoodMan

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 01:09 PM

All I have are a nasty gas grill and a smoker. Maybe I'll smoke it for a few minutes then throw it on the grill? I don't want it overly smokey.
I have to convince the SO that we either need a new grill, or that we need to build a yard pit...... wish me luck.

I'm interested in ANY recipe you want to post!
Thanks so much for the help, I'll get started on this ASAP!

nessa-
Gas grill should work out perfectly. I've even roasted them in the oven with very good results. But if you want to, try your method of smoking first. I am very interested in the result, so keep us posted (maybe start a thread if there's not already one).

Elie

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#17 Behemoth

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Posted 22 June 2004 - 02:12 PM

Gas grill should work out perfectly. I've even roasted them in the oven with very good results. But if you want to, try your method of smoking first. I am very interested in the result, so keep us posted (maybe start a thread if there's not already one).

Elie

My mom used to just wrap them in foil and leave them atop her stove's gas burner -- they got nice and charred that way.

My current apartment has only an electric range and oven -- how do you do the eggplant in the oven? Broiler? Wrapped or unwrapped? The skin just wouldn't char properly last time I tried. :sad:

A turkish friend of mine had a kind of aluminum pan that was designed especially for charring eggplant on a stove top. His mom had sent it to him, so he had no idea where to find one in the US. Any idea what that might be?

(edited for clarity)

Edited by Behemoth, 22 June 2004 - 02:12 PM.


#18 FoodMan

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Posted 23 June 2004 - 07:48 AM

If I may pick your brain a bit more, do you have any thoughts on the different brands of tahini? Are there any differences?


Most brands you would find at a grocery store are usually pretty good. I like to stick to regular Tahini, not the dark toasted ones you find at health food stores sometimes. My two favorites are Cortas and Al-Rabih, in that order. both are Lebanese brands and good.


Elie

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#19 zora

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Posted 24 June 2004 - 11:49 PM

Back to the fatteh for a moment: success! Thanks, Elie! I really was just overthinking the whole thing. The cold yogurt plus hot chickpeas is perfect--it means you _can_ eat it right away, before the pita chips start dissolving.

And it always amazes me how something like adding the garlic to the yogurt rather than to the chickpeas makes a difference--it all gets mixed together anyway! But that's the magic of cooking, I s'pose.
Zora O’Neill aka "Zora"

Roving Gastronome

#20 FoodMan

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Posted 25 June 2004 - 03:32 PM

Back to the fatteh for a moment: success! Thanks, Elie! I really was just overthinking the whole thing. The cold yogurt plus hot chickpeas is perfect--it means you _can_ eat it right away, before the pita chips start dissolving.

And it always amazes me how something like adding the garlic to the yogurt rather than to the chickpeas makes a difference--it all gets mixed together anyway! But that's the magic of cooking, I s'pose.

You are more than welcome, I'm very glad it worked for you.

Next time try some stewed eggplant instead of the chickpeas for a nice change and different texture.

Elie

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#21 nessa

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Posted 30 June 2004 - 11:28 PM

nessa-
Gas grill should work out perfectly. I've even roasted them in the oven with very good results. But if you want to, try your method of smoking first. I am very interested in the result, so keep us posted (maybe start a thread if there's not already one).

Elie

Here's the new thread.

#22 ChefCrash

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 04:53 PM

I was introduced to this dish on my trip to Lebanon this past summer and was reminded of it by Hassouni in his blog.

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#23 nolafoodie

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:40 PM

That looks delicious -- but it's completely different from the fatteh I had in Amman. I always get a kick out of comparing regional interpretations of our Middle Eastern cuisine. :)

The Jordanian version was something like a soft hummus bread pudding, if you can imagine that. :) It was served piping hot, and seemed to be a thick puree of hummus, yogurt, and bread, with small chunks of bread interspersed within that mixture. The dish was topped with chickpeas and olive oil, and, according to the cousin who introduced me to the dish, was to be eaten with additional bread. A carb-lover's dream, to be sure. :)

ETA: It was tangy and garlicky too, so my guess is it's made a lot like the recipe Elie posted, but with chickpeas and some bread blended into the yogurt mixture. The dish with meat, though, looks great, and I will definitely try it this way. And with fried pita strips, what more could a person desire? :)

Edited by nolafoodie, 16 April 2012 - 12:50 PM.


#24 Hassouni

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:14 PM

I was introduced to this dish on my trip to Lebanon this past summer and was reminded of it by Hassouni in his blog.


Glad I could provide some inspiration! Sahtein!

#25 ChefCrash

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:45 PM

Hi nolafoodie

I'm sorry I had not read the whole thread, I just thought this thread needed some photos. I didn't realize there were more than one version of this. I had never heard of this dish before I visited this restaurant in Alai Lebanon and literally ordered 2 of everything (15 people), mazza style, for our going away party.
The dish is definitely Syrian in origin. We made it the way it was served to us.
The meats were simmered in water with the aromatics in the photo. After the scum was removed, dry chic peas and salt were added and simmered until the meats fell off the bones. Mean while crushed garlic was added to yogurt along with salt and a little water and set aside to reach room temperature.
At the table, yogurt was ladled into bowls followed with the piping hot soup, chic peas and the fried bread.

Most Lebanese eat everything with bread. When my father left the village in south Lebanon to study in Saida, he was introduced to "city bread" (pita). He didn't know what to do with it so he rolled it up in the village bread (he'd brought with him) like a sandwich (aarous) and ate it :laugh:

#26 ChefCrash

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:46 PM

Thanks Hassouni


I was introduced to this dish on my trip to Lebanon this past summer and was reminded of it by Hassouni in his blog.


Glad I could provide some inspiration! Sahtein!



#27 Hassouni

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:56 PM

village bread, ya'ni, markouk?

#28 ChefCrash

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

Yes

village bread, ya'ni, markouk?



#29 nolafoodie

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:00 AM

...Or village bread, ya3ni, rgheef? :-)

Great story -- a bread sandwich. That sounds like something my family would do. :-)

My sister once told me about a foreign exchange student who was shocked to learn that many New Orleanians eat red beans and rice with bread. She was incredulous: "you eat the bread with the rice? How can you eat the bread with the rice?" I told my sister not to say anything to the poor girl about mansaf. ;-)

Anyway, back to fatteh, I hadn't heard of it either until I tried it in Jordan. In our community (West Bank village), "fatt" is a generic term for torn pieces of bread topped with a liquid-based food (soup, stew, "tabikh," or "yakhni" type of thing), such that the bread becomes mushy. (It's also, at least in my extended family, the term we use for leftover mansaf.) Fatt is very popular with babies and the elderly. :-)

It really is interesting how different places have different takes on dishes, not just from region to region, but also state to state, and whatever smaller divisions (cities, villages, etc.) exist within states -- not to mention differences from family to family within the same town! That's what I like so much about this forum -- we can compare notes and try all the variations on these dishes. Cheers!