This is our take on a traditional and very popular dish called fatteh. There are endless versions of this all around Lebanon (and other parts of the Levant) but all include stale, fried or toasted pita as a base, which is then topped with yoghurt and chickpeas – and then anything else that takes your fancy!
Some versions of fatteh use spiced lamb or chicken, but we favor eggplant – and for this recipe, the long, Japanese variety, with its rich flavor and silky texture. It’s a brilliant way of using up bits of leftover bread, but the complex layering of spices and the contrasting textures make it much, much more than the sum of its parts. —Greg and Lucy Malouf, authors of Moorish and New Feast.
- 1 lb 2 oz vine-ripened tomatoes
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 long green chilies, seeds removed, finely shredded
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 9 fl oz vegetable stock
- Sea salt
- 1 lb 7 oz eggplant, peeled and cut into fat wedges
- 9 Ounces cooked chickpeas (good-quality tinned will do, at a pinch)
- 1 pita
- 9 Ounces Greek-style yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Arrange the tomatoes in a roasting tin and drizzle with a generous tablespoon of oil. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the skins are slightly colored and splitting away from the flesh. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skins.
Heat another few tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based flame-proof casserole or saucepan and add the onions, chilies and spices. Sauté very gently for 10 minutes, or until very soft and translucent.
Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and reduce to a simmer. Tip in the tomatoes with their roasting juices and simmer for 15–20 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by around a quarter.
Meanwhile, arrange the eggplant in a large roasting tin and toss with 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast for 15–20 minutes, or until tender. Shake the pan from time to time to ensure they color evenly.
Add the chickpeas to the tomato mixture and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes. Finally, add the cooked eggplant (keep the roasting tin to one side and the oven on) and stir in very gently.
Roll up the pita into a tight roll and shred into 1/2 cm (1/4 in) strips. Scatter into the eggplant roasting tin and drizzle with a little more oil. Cook for 5–7 minutes, shaking from time to time, until the bread crisps and browns evenly.
Spoon the fatteh into a deep serving bowl. Dollop the yoghurt around the edge of the bowl and then scatter the toasted bread over the top. Serve straight away.
Recipes excerpted with permission from New Feast by Lucy and Greg Malouf, Hardie Grant Books August 2017