This rustic and easy-to-fix dish is very traditional and especially prevalent in Syria (Damascus) where they have perfected it. It is called fatteh from the verb fatfat (to break apart), meaning bread torn apart. The fattoush salad’s name has the same origin, as it is a bread salad with Arabic bread torn apart into bits and fried into croutons. This fatteh, (the Arab equivalent of the American casserole) is extremely popular and yummy; it is prepared from scratch and served in just about every neighborhood in Beirut as early as 6 or 7:00AM to the workers before heading to a construction site or anyone who starts work early. I haven’t met a Lebanese who does not love it, and does not have their own personal favorite restaurant to enjoy fatteh. Some places are famous just for their fatteh. Fatteh is versatile and is often prepared with eggplants, with chicken, with trotters, etc.instead of the chickpeas.
Photo above of fatteh served at a really cool restaurant in Beirut, Mezyan.
Chickpea in yogurt sauce (Fattet al-hummus)Joumana Accad Mediterranean, Middle Eastern September 12, 2020 Main Dish, Mezze/Appetizers, yogurt, legumes and beans, tahini, pita bread, chickpeas,
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
2 cans of chickpeas , drained and rinsed
1 lb of yogurt
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped and mashed with salt
2 tbsp of tahini
4 cups of pita bread, cut into croutons and fried
3 tbsp of pine nuts fried in oil or butter (optional, can be replaced with almonds)
1 tsp cumin (more, to taste)
1 tsp of red Aleppo pepper (more, to taste)
Pomegranate seeds, to garnish each plate
- Put the chickpeas in a saucepan, add water to cover and simmer for 30 minutes or longer until super tender. You can add some spices to the water if desired like cinnamon, a bay leaf, an onion or some peppercorns. When the chickpeas are nice and tender and the water has almost evaporated, mash them a bit with a potato masher, leaving some whole.
- Mix the yogurt with the mashed garlic and tahini, and taste; adjust seasoning.
- Assemble the fatteh: In each bowl, sprinkle some pita croutons, add a couple ladles of chickpeas and a couple ladles of yogurt sauce; sprinkle with some cumin and Aleppo pepper (or present alongside the dish). Garnish with pomegranate and fried nuts and more croutons if desired. Serve warm right away.
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