I love this dish! This is party food really, or the best snack you’ve ever encountered. I can see this on a big platter being tucked in by curious guests soon to be tongue tied in a good way. There are so many flavours and textures layered up here and they all work perfectly together. I was lucky to eat Fatteh loads on my recent Lebanon trip.
We could easily call this ‘Fatteh Al-Betenjane’ – Aubergine Fatteh. Fatteh (or fette) is named after the bread really, crushed or crumbled underneath or on top, but the highlight is the flavourful beans and all the accompaniments.
It has been said that this dish is like a Levantine Nachos, it’s not far off really, but with the sheer combination of delightful flavours and pine nuts, one of my favourites, Fatteh is way ahead of nachos in the BHK. Apologies Mexico.
I ate this dish quite a bit last year in my Lebanon trip. More of that (with pics):
Seeking falafel perfection in Lebanon and making the dream falafel wrap
I Ate Lebanon! – My experience of vegan Lebanese cuisine
Msabaha – Lebanese Chickpeas (A new twist on hummus)
Fatteh is a classic dish in Lebanon and is especially popular in the Northern City of Tripoli, which was probably the best place I ate in Lebanon (but it was very close in many respects). Lebanon is one of the best countries for plant-based wandering. Have you been?
Tripoli is a city little visited by tourists, but if you’re ever in the area, try the Fatteh. It is a dish that changes from region to region, country to country, so you’ll never grow tired of your Fatteh, although most variations contain meat unfortunately.
In Egypt it is eaten as a feast during Ramadan or to celebrate a woman’s first pregnancy. Like I said, its party food, a celebration on plate. Sometimes fatteh is even eaten as a breakfast, lucky people. Wow!
Fava beans you’ll find mainly dried, especially in World/ Asian food shops. If you’re lucky to live near a Middle Eastern shop, you’re sorted. You should be able to track things like Za’atar, Sumac, Tahini and Pomegranate Molasses down in supermarkets etc.
Fava beans are very popular in Middle Eastern cooking and you may have tried Ful or Ful Medames, which is a real staple. I love the flavour of fava beans cooked like this, rich, deep and full flavoured. We love cooking with Fava Beans, we’ve used Hodemdod’s Split Fava Beans to make this Yellow Thai Curry with Squash and also used Hodmedod’s dried fava beans here. This what they look like. Hodmedods are all organic and grown in the UK so we love ’em!
If you can’t track down fava beans, you could use chickpeas or red kidney beans. Black beans may also be nice.
No za’atar in the house? Go for dried mint or thyme, of both mixed together.
Short of sumac? A drizzle of pomegranate molasses or lemon zest would be nice.
You can serve this dish cold, but I much prefer the beans and pitta warm.
I used carrots here, but for an extra special touch, sprinkle over some pomegranate arils.
Gluten-free option, just go for gluten-free flatbreads/ pittas.
Aubergine & Fava Bean Fatteh, Tahini Yoghurt & Pine Nuts – Lebanese Party Food!
The Bits – For 2 main course/ 4 starters
1 small onion (finely diced)
4 cloves garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
1 medium aubergine (cut into small cubes)
1 1/2 tbs cooking oil
500g fava beans (cooked)
1 teas salt
2 1/2 teas ground cumin
2 teas paprika
1/2 teas cinnamon
300ml bean cooking juices/ light vegetable stock
2 tbs pomegranate molasses
150g soya yoghurt (unsweetened)
4 tbs tahini
1-2 tbs pomegranate molasses
Large pinch salt (to taste)
2-3 gluten-free pittas (cut into thin strips)
1/2 handful fresh mint (finely chopped)
1/2 handful grated carrot or pomegranate arils
3 tbs pine nuts (toasted)
Sprinkles of Sumac/ Za’atar
Preheat an oven to 200oC, toss the pitta in a little oil, spread out onto a baking tray and pop in the oven for 10 minutes until they are crisp. Set aside. The pine nuts can also be cooked on the baking tray, in the oven, check them every 5 minutes, they will burn easily.
In a large frying pan, heat of medium high heat and add the oil. Fry the onion for 1o minutes, until golden brown, add the aubergine and salt, cook for a further 8-10 minutes until the aubergine is slightly caramelised.
Add the garlic, fry for a minute before adding the spices, adding a good amount of black pepper, stir them in and let them cook for just 30 seconds. Enjoy the spicy aroma!! Now for the beans and bean cooking stock and pomegranate molasses, stir, cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning.
For the yoghurt, mix all the bits together in a bowl.
Serve the beans on a small plate/ shallow bowl, top with tahini yoghurt, scatter with pine nuts and pitta slices, then fresh mint, grated carrot, topped with sprinkles of sumac and za’atar.
Fava beans are broad beans, normally bought dried. They are low in fat and full of protein and fibre, with good levels of folate, thaimin and minerals like manganese, copper, phosphorous, iron and magnesium.