Middle Eastern Fatteh with Chickpeas
Fatteh is this super delicious Middle Eastern dish that at its base has dried or toasted bread and ground meat (lamb or beef) on top of the bread. What goes on top of the meat depends on what you have on hand or what you like. Most likely, that is how it evolved in the first place, depending upon local ingredients and availability, as it is common in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine, just to name a few. To me, it is such an enjoyable dish and I could easily make and enjoy it a few times a month since most of the ingredients are things I almost always have on hand: bread, meat, yogurt, lemon, herbs and spices.
I have made fatteh before with beef and eggplant, and pomegranate on top. I also made the yogurt sauce in a little more complicated way than in this recipe. For the yogurt sauce in this particular recipe, I simplified it a lot and have found that the result is just as good.
This recipe also has chickpeas, which gave it a hearty texture and made it even more filling than I expected. No need for side dishes on the table, in my opinion. Maybe just some extra yogurt sauce since that is so very good.
*Some people even refer to this as “Middle Eastern Nachos”. Hmm…what do you think?
Here you go- sahtein!
YOGURT SAUCE (make this first and set aside)
2 cups whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon tahini paste
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
In a medium size bowl, combine the yogurt and tahini paste. Using a wire whisk, mix until any lumps are gone.
Add the garlic, sea salt and lemon juice and stir thoroughly again. Set aside until ready to serve in the recipe.
2 tablespoons olive or grape seed oil
½ yellow onion, diced small
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes, urfa biber, or red pepper flakes
1 heaping tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon sumac
One large or two medium pieces of pita bread, cut into 1-inch thick long strips
Using a large saute pan, heat the olive oil very gently. Add the onion, increase the heat to medium and cook until translucent.
Add the meat, ground cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Let cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas and pepper flakes and combine well. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
While the meat is cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bread on a baking tray and bake for 5-7 minutes or until the bread has toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Prepare an extra large bowl or deep bottom serving dish. Arrange all of the toasted bread pieces along the bottom. Add the cooked meat and chickpeas mixture on top.
Drizzle the yogurt sauce on top generously, reserving 1/2 cup for additional use at the table for anyone who would like more. Top with the dried parsley and sumac, then serve.