Eggplant with yogurt sauce (Fattet al-Makdoos)

In what city in the world can you get this meal delivered to your door? That is what happened today when I called my caterer/friend/neighbor, Rima @RimRam Gourmet and asked her to help me out. 

Rima, whose is a true Beiruti, specializes in many traditional dishes and cooks herself once a month at Tawlet, Kamal Mouzawak’s famed restaurant. 

What I got today was fattet al-makdoos, the most exquisite eggplant dish you will ever taste. The eggplants are silky and melt in your mouth, the yogurt and tahini sauce blanket them and the fried pita croutons and pine nuts provide crunch. Heavenly. 

This is not Rima’s recipe, just a template to make your own if you decide to.

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 8 small baby eggplants
  • 1/3 pound of ground meat
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 pita bread
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • salt, to taste; 1 tsp of allspice and a pinch of cinnamon 
  • oil, as needed
METHOD:
  1. Peel the eggplants (or peel off just bands of skin for a prettier look). Sprinkle with salt and place in a colander while you fry the meat. Place the meat in a skillet and brown, separating the meat with two wooden spoons to keep the meat small. Sprinkle with spices and stir then transfer to a sieve and drain of all extra fat. Add a pad of butter to the skillet and fry the pine nuts until golden for just 4 minutes or so watching them so they don’t burn. Set aside. 
  2. Pat the eggplants with paper towels. Add 1/2 cup of oil to the skillet and fry the eggplants on all sides until tender. Drain the skillet of all the oil and slit each eggplant with a sharp knife to form a pocket. Insert the meat (a tablespoon or so) inside and place the eggplants side by side in the skillet. Add the tomato sauce and season. Cover and cook for about 40 minutes over very gentle heat. 
  3. In the meantime, mash the garlic with a dash of salt and add to the yogurt; mix in the tahini. Cut the pita into small croutons with scissors and toast in a 300F oven on a baking sheet until golden-brown. (You can fry them which is traditional, although more calorific).
  4. Assembly: Serve the eggplants with their sauce, covered with the yogurt sauce, the toasted pine nuts and the pita croutons. 

 

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27 Comments

  1. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Scrumptious! A fabulous dish that is so mouthwatering.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    I have made “fancy moutabal” many times- Ottolenghi style (roasted eggplants stuffed with yoghurt, tahina sauce, zataar & pomegranate seeds), but this recipe is amazing because it can be a main course as well. What a delicious combination. It’s ideal for parties. wow I am in love with it. I love the dish, I love the ingredients, I love the photo. I miss the Middle East. xx

  3. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    This does look tasty. Will have lots, I hope, of eggplants to play with when garden comes in. On my list

  4. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    I love eggplants but have never cooked it this way. We usually deep fry it and then pour a spicy sauce over it. But I hardly cook because no one in my family likes eggplants. Yours looks interesting and delicious. Love how yoghurt is used. Thanks very much for sharing.

  5. Posted March 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    ce plat est un délice! merci de me le faire découvrir et de me faire voyager avec tes superbes photos! bonne soirée!

  6. Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    J’aime les aubergines et ce plat a tout pour me plaire.
    Je testerai très vite.
    A bientôt

  7. Posted March 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I love this combination of soft and textures against ground meat, spices and sauces. This looks delicious!

  8. Posted March 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Your description of the eggplant really makes me want to try this dish. I grew eggplant last year in my garden and produced just two eggplants. I’m increasing the plants and hope to have a bumper crop with which to make scrumptious looking eggplant dishes like this!

  9. samir
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    lucky you!…..havent had this in years..must be nice to have it delivered..no fuss no muss..just utter exquisiteness ..thank you for another great post/pics and recipe!

  10. Posted March 29, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    This and the last dish you posted are exactly the kinds of dishes I imagine eating in my daydream travels to Beirut.

  11. Posted March 29, 2012 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous dish and I too will finish some dishes with yogurt to cut richness or for contrast of flavours.

  12. Posted March 29, 2012 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    This is awesome. Depending on the Oil used the accompanying flavor can be altered according to taste.

  13. Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    yumm, I love the silky texture of eggplants :) this dish looks delish

  14. Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I love eggplant and am always looking for ways to prepare it. ToB is my first stop when I’m looking for great recipes. Thanks Joumana!

  15. Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Mmm ce plat a l’air super délicieux! merci pour le partage! Bonne journée.

  16. Posted March 29, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Que j’aurais aimé être assise à cette table ! ;o)
    Bisous
    Hélène

  17. Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    How wonderful to have such a wonderful caterer/friend to deliver this beautiful dish! You’ve shown it so beautiful too.

  18. dana
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Scrumpteous. Never heard of this dish before. Looks like sheikh mahshi meets fatte. Definitely bookmarked. Merci, Joumana!

  19. Posted March 29, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    une recette fraîcheur grâce à la sauce ! miam !

  20. Posted March 30, 2012 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    This is super. We don’t add yoğurt on, next time I’ll try.
    I love pita croutons, perfect.Photos are very beautiful.
    Thanks.

  21. Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Wow! How lucky are you to have that delivered to your door. I have to get out of here quick before my tummy starts growling out of control…this looks amazing. So tempting! I already bookmarked it before I even read the recipe :)

  22. Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    This looks fantastic! How lucky you are – I want a plate of this yummy eggplant delivered to my door right now!

  23. Posted April 2, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    My wife is always asking me to cook more with eggplant, and I can never think of what to make with it….problem solved!

  24. Posted April 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    What a beautiful way to prepare eggplant…lovely recipe!

  25. Posted April 4, 2012 at 3:10 am | Permalink

    Toujours autant de plaisir à passer sur ton blog !

  26. Sylvia
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Hello!

    What kind of tomato sauce are you using?

    Many greetings, Sylvia from the Netherlands

  27. Joumana
    Posted April 5, 2013 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    @Sylvia: You can use a plain sauce, such as the kind made for Italian pasta or simply puréed canned tomatoes.

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