There are numerous types of fatteh’s in the region, made with layers of toasted bread, vegetables and/or meat with yoghurt, nuts and sometimes tomato sauce. Fatteh comes from the Arabic way of saying to crumble or pull the bread over something.
I find it inspiring and amazing how many different ways there are to making Fatteh Bitinjan, First it is considered to be a Middle-Eastern dish, yet I found it very difficult to track it back to its origin. Nonetheless it is for sure served in almost every Arab home, and how it is prepared is different from one kitchen to another.
This dish is a ritual during the holy month of Ramadan, and when it is prepared, we look forward for ‘Iftar‘ time. It is also very easy to prepare and I think no matter where your from, and if you have tried it before or not, this recipe is worth the try.
- 1.5 hours
- 30 minutes
- 6 – 8 pax
For Base and Top
- 5-6 large eggplants
- 1 cup light olive oil mixed with a couple dashes of sweet paprika
- a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 1 large onion (finely chopped)
- 400 gm minced low fat beef
- 2/3 cup store-bought crushed strained tomatos
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- ¾ tsp of your favourite Arabic 7-spice blend
- salt & pepper (to taste)
- 3 ¼ cups yoghurt
- 2 small garlic cloves (crushed with a tiny bit of salt)
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp tahini
- salt (to taste)
- 4 small thin pita breads (cut into tiny square pieces and deep-fried until golden)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (sautéed in oil until golden)
- ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- Wash and peel the eggplants in alternating stripes, slice lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and let sit in a bowl of cold water until the bitter juices run out (approximately 20 mins).
- Pat dry and generously coat each slice with the oil mixture.
- Grill the eggplant slices until golden and then set aside.
- Sauté the chopped onion in cooking oil until soft.
- In another pot, brown the minced beef (without oil) by pressing and crumbling with a large fork until it is cooked through and dry.
- Add it to the sautéed onion. Mix together and add the tomato sauce, pomegranate molasses, ‘7 spice’ mixture and salt & pepper to taste.
- Mix the yoghurt with the crushed garlic, vinegar, tahini and salt.
- Set aside to reach room temperature.
- Place a layer of grilled eggplant at the bottom of an ovenproof serving dish, top with the beef mixture and then cover with another layer of eggplant.
- Heat through in the oven.
- Pour yoghurt mixture on top of the heated eggplant dish.
- Garnish with sautéed pine nuts, finely chopped parsley, pomegranate seeds and fried bread pieces.
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Tanya knew that Palestine was her symbolic homeland. Always curious about her identity and connecting with her roots, she was eager to strengthen her ties to the Levant and traveled the region, desperate to learn more. It wasn’t until her first trip to Palestine that she became spiritually and emotionally connected.
She studied Political Science and Sociology at the University of Toronto. She then moved to the UAE, supporting numerous NGOs related to children’s welfare in the region. When she had her own family, she created the My Olive Roots platform in the hopes that her children and the Arabs diaspora would have a place to connect, learn and preserve their roots. Tanya enjoys discovering humanist stories and exploring the connection of food and art with culture.