Eggplant Fatteh

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Eggplant Fatteh (fatteh batenjen)

Fatteh comes from the Arabic verb to ‘break up’ or ‘crumble’, which is what’s done to the stale flatbread in this eggplant fatteh recipe. Fatteh is one of those ingenious peasant dishes created to ensure nothing goes to waste and it’s a great way to use up leftovers as ingredients range from chicken and lamb to eggplant and chickpeas. At its simplest, with just chickpeas, fatteh is a popular breakfast in Lebanon. Like all fatteh, fatteh batenjen (eggplant fatteh) is topped with a garlicky yoghurt sauce and toasted pine nuts.

Serves 2

Ingredients
  • 1 large eggplant (about 500g/1lb 2oz), cut into 1–2cm dice (½–1ʺ)
  • 1 tablespoon natural cooking salt (20g)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing (40ml)
  • 1 teaspoon Lebanese 7 Spice (baharat), see video below
  • 400g (14oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 round Lebanese bread
  • 1½ tablespoons pine nuts (25g/1oz)
  • ½ cup plain natural yoghurt (125g/4½oz)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt flakes, or more to taste
  • Handful coriander/cilantro sprigs (or flat-leaf parsley), for garnishing
Method
  1. Place eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with salt, toss to combine well and set aside for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
  3. Rinse eggplant well, squeeze to remove excess moisture then place in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add oil and 7 Spice and toss to combine well.
  5. Spread on a baking tray, place in oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  6. Stir well, add chickpeas and cook for a further 20 minutes or so, until eggplant is well coloured and tender.
  7. Meanwhile, split bread open, brush with oil and place on a baking tray.
  8. Place pine nuts on a separate baking tray.
  9. Place both trays in the oven.
  10. Start checking after 4 minutes and remove bread and nuts as soon as they’re golden. Set aside to cool.
  11. Whisk yoghurt, garlic and salt flakes together. Set aside.
  12. Break bread into bite-sized pieces and arrange on the base of a serving platter.
  13. Scatter eggplant mixture over the bread with any oil remaining on the tray.
  14. Drizzle some of the yoghurt mixture over the top.
  15. Scatter with pine nuts and coriander and serve fatteh with remaining yoghurt mixture on the side.

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How To Make Lebanese 7 Spice

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