A Cool Dish for Hot Summer Days: Fattet Djej with Yogurt Posted by jesa on Jun 29, 2013 in Arabic Language, Culture
Marhaba! Today, I am going to teach you how to cook Fattet Djej with yogurt (فتّة دجاج مع لبن). It is a tasty dish that is popular in the Middle East and specifically the Levant. Many in the Arab world trace the origins of fatteh as a recipe back to Damascus (دمشق) the capital of Syria (سوريا). Fatteh refers to a long list of Levantine dishes that use crumble flatbreads in their preparation. When breadcrumbs are used in preparing dishes in the Middle East, the word Fatteh (فتّة) is usually attributed to such recipes.
It’s a great dish for the weekend, especially if you plan on having family or friends over. Also, it’s a great dish during the summer because it is served with cold yogurt (لبن)! With all the heat and humidity, the yogurt in the fatteh can probably help cool your senses! Plain fatteh without chicken or beef is considered an appetizer. It is part of the mezza menu that is usually offered alongside hummus, tabbouleh and other tasty appetizers at any restaurant in the Levant. In some circles in the Levant, fatteh without beef or chicken is considered a breakfast dish.
I am sharing the recipe that my wife and I use to cook this popular dish from a noteworthy cooking book called The Lebanese Kitchen: Quick and Healthy Recipes by Monique Bassila Zaarour, a Canadian registered dietitian (اخصائية تغذية) with Lebanese roots (جذور لبنانية). I have also added a YouTube video in Arabic that shows you how to cook this tasty dish. According to Zaarour and out of our experience, this recipe makes around eight servings. In practice it does not require a lot of preparation and only requires around 15 minutes. Also, the cooking time is around 30 minutes. So all in all, you will have an impressive and tasty dish in less than an hour! You should also note that this recipe is rich in fiber (ليف), magnesium (المغنيسيوم) and other important vitamins (فيتامينات) like B3 and B6. I have added two Youtube videos that teach you to prepare and cook Fatteh. It might be a challenge to be able to get all the exact ingredients in some places, but this should not dissuade you from giving it a shot!
– 1 serving Cooked ground beef (لحمة مفرومة مطبوخة)
– 1.5 cups long grain rice, soaked in water for around 30 minutes
– 3 cups chicken broth (مرقة دجاج)
– 1 teaspoon salt (ملح)
– 1 teaspoon allspice (سبع بهارات)
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (قرفة ناعمة)
– 4 cups water
– 3 cups boiled chickpeas
– 2 garlic cloves (حصّ ثوم)(crushed)
– half teaspoon salt
Yogurt sauce (لبن)
– 4 cups fat-free plain yogurt sauce (or if you prefer full fat yogurt)
– 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
– 1 teaspoon tahini (طحينة)
– 1 teaspoon dried mint (نعنع ) (or you can use fresh mint leaves)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 pound skinless chicken breast / boiled and shredded into small pieces
– 1 medium loaf pita bread, toasted and cut into small squares
– 1 tablespoon pine nuts (حبوب صنوبر), toasted
– Put ground beef in a large pot over high heat
– Drain rice and add to meat; stir fry for around 2 minutes or more
– Add chicken broth with seasonings and mix well. Make sure to bring to a boil.
– Cover and cook over low heat for around 30 minutes without stirring.
To prepare the chickpeas, bring water to a boil in another deep point.
– Add chickpeas, crushed garlic, and salt, and cook over low heat until tender. Set aside the chickpeas.
In a separate bowl, mix yogurt sauce ingredients, and then set the yogurt aside.
Put hot rice in serving plate. Garnish with shredded pieces of chicken and chickpeas.
Cover with bread and yogurt.
Finally, make sure to sprinkle toasted pine nuts over the dish. (we also add roasted and toasted almonds)
It is an excellent dish and I encourage and invite you all to give it a try and let me know how it goes. Do you know of similar dishes that make use of yogurt during the hot summer days?
Stay tuned for upcoming posts
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