This evening is the end of Ramadan and many of our Muslim friends and customers will be celebrating, so I thought I would share a Fatteh recipe, which works so well with Velvet Cloud yogurt.
Fatteh has long been a convivial dish and nowadays is often served for iftar, the meal eaten to break the daily fast during Ramadan. Tonight is the celebration of the end of Ramadan or the feast of Eid al-Fitr
Fatteh is also a great dinner party dish, prepare everything ahead of time and just assemble it at the last minute. The recipe starts with a base layer of toasted pita bread, topped with chicken and chickpeas, a ladle of broth, then a minced garlic yoghurt mixed with tahini, which adds more body and a nutty flavour.
The final dish gives a great contrast of textures, with crispy toasted pita, smooth yoghurt, crunchy pine nuts, juicy meat and chickpeas. A vegetarian version is also simple to make, using aubergine instead of meat.
400ml can of chickpeas, drained
1 tsp baking soda
1kg (just over 2lb) boneless chicken
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning
3 large pita breads, opened
olive oil (optional)
50g (3½ tbsp) unsalted butter
60g (2oz) pine nuts
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
10g fresh mint leaves crushed with the garlic (optional)
1 tbsp tahini
2 large pots of Velvet Cloud yogurt
Put the chicken in a saucepan, add 1.2 litres (5 cups) of water and place over medium heat. As the water is about to boil, skim the surface clean; this is an important step to keep the flavour clean tasting. Add the cinnamon sticks and salt, cover the pan and boil gently for 45 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Add the chickpeas, add once the meat is cooked, just to heat them. Keep warm over a very low heat ahead of serving.
Meanwhile, toast the pitta in a hot oven or under the grill until golden, no more than 5 minutes; let cool. (Drizzle olive oil over the bread before toasting, if desired.)
Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the pine nuts, stirring regularly, until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a double layer of kitchen paper and leave to drain.
Mix the crushed garlic (and mint if you chose to use it) and tahini into the Velvet Cloud yogurt. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
Break the toasted pitta into bite-sized pieces and spread over the bottom of a deep serving dish. Take the meat out of the stock, cut it into bite-sized pieces and spread over the pitta. Remove the chickpeas with a slotted spoon and spread over the meat. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of the chicken stock over the meat and chickpeas and cover with the seasoned Velvet Cloud. Garnish with the sautéed pine nuts. Serve immediately.
If you don’t have pine nuts they can be substituted for flaked almonds or even cashews.
The idea for this recipie is from Chef Anissa Helou's chicken and chickpea fatteh with yoghurt (Credit: Anissa Helou) - a Lebanese chef and cookbook author who won the Foodics Iconic Award as part of Middle East & North Africa's 50 Best Restaurants 2023