Fattet Hummus

This is a traditional dish and I believe it is specific to the Sunni communities in Beirut.

While living in California, I became friends with  a Lebanese man. He and I  worked in the same building. His relatives threw a dinner party and invited me. This is the dish I remembered from dozens on that sprawling table.

Crunchy golden pita croutons, meaty pieces of chicken, creamy yogurt sauce, I was smitten!  Turns out there are at least a dozen different types of fatte, each with different ingredients, but always following the same principle: golden croutons, and yogurt sauce blanketing the main ingredients.

Prepared ahead, one step at a time, it should be a cinch to put together.

To get a recipe for a spinach fatteh, click here:


  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans or 1 1/2 cups of dried beans, soaked in water overnight with a teaspoon of baking soda.
  • 1 pound (or less) of ground meat, lamb if possible; (can omit the meat)
  • 1 pint of yogurt, strained a bit through a paper towel and a sieve to get it thick and smooth
  • 2 Tablespoons of tahini
  • 3 or 4 pita breads, cut into croutons with kitchen shears
  • olive oil, as needed
  • pine nuts, soaked in water for one hour or longer (or almonds, or both)
  • Spices: salt, pepper, allspice, seven-spice or a dash of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom.
  • 4  cloves of garlic, mashed with a teaspoon of salt in a mortar (use half for the yogurt and the other half for the beans)


  1. Place the garbanzo beans in a pressure cooker or a pot and cook adding  a pint or more of water until the beans are very soft and tender. If you are using cans, drain the cans and pour into the pot with the cans volume of fresh water. Simmer the beans for one hour or until they are very tender (even if they are canned); drop some ice cubes into the pot (optional step)  and when the water is cool enough use two wooden spoons to rub them together and release as much of the skins as possible; discard the skins. Season the garbanzos or hummus with a teaspoon of  mashed garlic and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside. You want the mixture to be creamy and chunky and moist.
  2. Cut the pita bread into squares; place on a cookie sheet with a few tablespoons of oil, mix the croutons and oil well and roast in the oven until browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  3. Brown the meat and spice it up with allspice, cinnamon, pepper and seven-spice if available. Drain if needed and set aside.
  4. Place the drained yogurt in a bowl, add a half-teaspoon of  mashed garlic and tahini, mixing well till smooth.
  5. Drain the pine nuts and fry or roast in the oven till caramel-colored.

Final Assembly:

  1. In a pyrex dish, place the heated meat then top with the cooked garbanzos and a bit of their sauce; top with pita croutons. Top the croutons with yogurt and sprinkle some pine nuts on top.


You can assemble this dish by layering first the croutons, then the meat and garbanzos, then yogurt and pine nuts. Or whichever way you like!

I found that if I soak the garlic cloves in a bowl of water for a minute, it is easier to peel the cloves and the skins don’t fly all over the place.

Hummus is the word for garbanzo beans as well as the name of the dip, which is  called hummus be-tahini.

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  1. Posted September 22, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks for explaining the meaning of “hummus”, of course I thought it was the word for the garbanzos purée! now I will use the right word. And must add this dish is beautiful, I will try it soon!

  2. Posted September 22, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    This is such and interesting dish, and sounds really good with all the aromatic spices in there. I would love to try it, I’m bookmarking this one! Lovely photographs too!

  3. Posted September 22, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Looks lovely..

  4. Posted September 22, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Sounds like a wonderful party food! I love tahini, beans, lamb, and garlic. It must be even more scrumptious when together!

  5. Posted September 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I love the addition of the toasted pita squares and pine nuts! I do love making and eating hummus and this is an excellent variation.

  6. Posted September 22, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Why the soda with the beans? I am a hummus fanatic – so how could this not be delicious? I love learning about cultural food,too… like even within yhour culture, there are differences according to “beliefs”. It is the same with Vana – though most don’t even attend a church or a mosque or whatever, they all have a very personal identity through their food that comes from the root of the faith. So fascinating.

  7. Posted September 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic recipe. I’m an absolute hummus fiend and the thought of combining it with garlicky yoghurt, crunchy croutons and tasty meat is a delightful one! Yet another of your recipes that I’m saving away :)

  8. Posted September 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    This is my favorite! I like to sprinkle chopped parsley on top. I’m from the North, and everyone eats this there, all the hummus restaurants in Tripoli also serve it. My favorite is a very old place Al-Dannoun near the old tripoli souks. You can still see the original owner in there, who is now a hunched over old man, working his huge ancient wood mortar to mash up hummus.

  9. Posted September 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for quite a while! I can’t wait to try the fattoush recipe. I had it bookmarked and missed this fabulous hummus recipe. Now I am going to try them both this week!

  10. Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    looks delicious, would love to eat this minus the meat.

  11. Posted September 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, this is fantastic. I love Fatéh. My favourite is fattet Jaj. Oh my mum makes such a delicous one draped with garlic yoghurt, mince rice and boiled chiken. YUMM! This looks soooooo good. Fattet hummus is also up there on my list. DIVINE!

  12. Posted September 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    We love hummus, but haven’t made yet…we always buy it ready…now seeing yours, I really should try to make my own…looks delicious the pita and nuts :-)

  13. Posted September 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Un autre plat que je ne connais pas et qui semble délicieux.
    Je vais finir par avoir un cahier plein de tes recettes à tester absolument.
    A bientôt.

  14. Posted September 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Looks fantastic! I’ve never tried this but I’ll have to bookmark this recipe and try it sometime :-)

  15. Fendi
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    this one is excellent, can you tell me how to make “tatit sbeinikh?”
    thanks for your help

  16. Posted September 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Cannot wait to try this out next. Have just made the aubergine (eggplant) stuffed with walnuts and cooked in pomegranite juice and the aubergine salad. Both lovely and well received by husband who is notoriously conservative in his tastes!!

  17. Posted September 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    soaking the garlic … never thought of that … Thanks!

  18. Posted September 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    This looks so comforting and tasty. I should try making these. It looks really good.

  19. Posted September 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    What a unique and delicious dish! This is quite the hummus dip, isn’t it! New to me, it looks amazing. Going to bookmark!

  20. Posted September 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    You’ve just featured my favorite protein. I adore hummus. :)

  21. SYLVIA
    Posted September 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    It’s the simple touch that makes the flavors more intense, and the texture more inviting. garbanzo beans kissed with yogurt and pine nuts, what a playful meal, it’s like dealing cards, and is quick weeknight dinner perfectly designed for hanging out at home with girlfriends. Joumana, this is a creating tasty meal.

  22. Posted September 22, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This is a beautiful hummus. The flavors and textures are amazing. Proof that we Americans have a very limited perspective on what we define as hummus.

  23. Joumana
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Fendi: I posted on fatteh sabanegh under “spinach-bread-and yogurt=casserole (somehow this link application is not working today) ; anyway, just go to the search bar and you will find it; I am also including it in this post. Joumana

  24. SYLVIA
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    It’s the simple touch that makes the flavors more intense, and the texture more inviting. garbanzo beans kissed with yogurt and pine nuts, what a playful meal, it’s like dealing cards, and is quick weeknight dinner perfectly designed for hanging out at home with girlfriends. Joumana, this is a creative tasty meal.

  25. Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Mmmm… This looks glorious! I love the idea of the pita croutons. Tell me – why do you soak the pine nuts?
    Robyn x

  26. Joumana
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    There is an amazing amount of material online which deals with this topic; the truth is I soaked them because that was what I saw my grandmother do; it turns out it is highly beneficial and gets them rid of toxins, increases their benefit and vitamins (B) and in general is highly recommended by nutrition experts.

  27. Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I have never heard of fatte dishes…the yogurt should would be a balance to your 8 cloves of garlic!

  28. Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    I can’t wait to try this dish, it’s just the type of thing I love to try. I love Grains and nuts. All the ingredients, seem to make a great balance, and they are things I use all the time, except for the yogurt, but you can’t deny the need to use it on this simple but great dish.

  29. Posted September 23, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Yikes! That’s a lot of garlic! I love all the layers of crunchy goodness in your fatte, but I have to cut back on the garlic just a tad.
    The pita croutons would be super in salads too….going to do that.

  30. samir
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    thank you for posting.. the coolness and tang of the yogurt juxtaposed with the warm lamb and chickpeas, the crunch of the bread and nuts ..the understated spiceness of the allspice/baharat , the pungency of garlic and the earthiness of the chickpeas/tahini create a Total Flavor Sensation..my only question is why do use wooden spoons to rub the skins off the chickpeas we have always used our hands and they seem to best implement in the kitchen?

  31. Joumana
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Samir, I use my hands too! I did not want to incommodate some readers, hence my suggestion of the spoon

  32. Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Yum! I used to make my own but haven’t for years and you have now put me in the mood.

  33. Nansi
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Thanks so much Joumana! I was looking for one of these recipes, can’t wait to try it, this is our favorite in Ramadan :)

  34. Posted October 15, 2010 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    The croutons surely make the difference. Nice inspiration.

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