After we had been youthful all of us thought fattah was the phrase for Ramadan. On the time, we didn’t perceive precisely why we couldn’t eat or drink however we completely knew that if there was fattah on that desk, it was Ramadan. One among our youthful sisters truly used to name the dish Ramadan – however we received’t title and disgrace!
Our household is giant. There’s 13 of us in whole: one boy (the eldest), 10 ladies, and our wonderful mother and father. Fattah was at all times teamwork. After we had been rising up, it used to contain a number of our sisters within the manufacturing. A few of us can be assigned to doing the dishes and setting the desk, the remainder of us had been accountable for making the fattah.
There have been so many parts and layers to the dish, so everybody had their particular space of accountability in placing it collectively. One for the seasoning of the yoghurt. One for the proper boiling of the chickpeas. One for the sluggish, buttery oven-baking of the bread. Then there’s our favorite function – the one all of us used to battle over – toasting the nuts in butter, a number of butter (fats is flavour). They must be able to pour over the dish one minute earlier than the Adan – the decision to our magrib prayer at sundown and time for us to interrupt our quick.
Our older brother helped set the desk however then he’d be first to take a seat down whereas we had been placing collectively the ending touches. All of us thought he was spoilt however making this dish is such enjoyable, we will’t actually say we drew the brief straw.
We serve the fattah whereas the butter remains to be scorching and as a starter after we’ve damaged our quick and lined our stomachs with water and dates.
There are such a lot of variations of fattah throughout our households and the complete Center East. Some cooks use eggplant. Some do it with hen. Others want it with spiced lamb mince. And there are the adventurous cooks that do it with slow-cooked lamb tongues.
The Shahrouk sisters’ household favorite is with chickpeas, served with recent mint and purple radish. The concept is to serve chilly, garlicky, minted yoghurt on prime of heat, crunchy, toasted bread and scorching boiled chickpeas. It’s like a household signature dish – and one thing we made on Household Food Combat. It’s our mom’s recipe tweaked with toasted garlic for added texture and flavour.
Our mother and father had been born in a village within the north of Lebanon and our mom Shamma got here out to Australia at 16, escaping the civil warfare to marry our dad. In so some ways, she was actually thrown within the deep finish. So far-off from her personal mother and father at what now appears such a younger age, she needed to train herself to cook dinner. At 16, she knew nothing about cooking and relied on her new mother-in-law (our grandmother Tayta) and neighbours. There have been heaps of people that all got here from the village my mother and father got here from, which made it a bit simpler. All of them knew one another they usually type of created a brand new village to help one another.
Our mom additionally realized loads from our father, Hassan, who loves cooking and likewise performed a task in educating us learn how to cook dinner. He makes a killer baba ganoush and he taught us loads about meat and the way to decide on and cook dinner greens.
Being within the kitchen collectively was at all times noisy, boisterous and enjoyable and we’re so grateful that they handed their love of meals and the intricacies and experience of conventional Lebanese cooking on to us. It truly is a shared household ardour that claims loads about who we’re and the way a lot we get pleasure from being collectively.
Though fattah is primarily made within the month of Ramadan, we additionally current it for particular Sunday breakfasts all year long. The one factor that has actually modified is that we at the moment are all grown ladies, married with our personal households and households, so we’re every one-woman groups – until we assign roles to our personal kids!
Prepare dinner 40 minutes (plus an in a single day soak of the chickpeas)
200g chickpeas (soaked in a single day)
4 items Lebanese bread
50g (4 tbsp) butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g Greek yoghurt
3 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp dried mint
1/4 tsp salt
50g pine nuts
50g halved almonds
50g slivered almonds
1 tsp paprika, to serve
4 radishes, finely sliced to serve
Contemporary mint, to serve
Garlic croutons, elective, to serve
To organize the chickpeas: soak dried chickpeas in a single day. The subsequent day, deliver them to the boil and simmer for roughly 40 minutes till they’re barely comfortable, however nonetheless good and agency. (Not squishy such as you would do for hummus.)
Because the chickpeas simmer, reduce the bread into 2 cm squares. Combine the butter and oil, toss the bread within the oils to flippantly coat the items, then place on an oven tray, bake at 180C levels and toast slowly. Flip the bread each 2-3 minutes to cook dinner evenly. With the bread, “the slower cooked the higher and crunchier”. It normally takes about 20-25 minutes, turning incessantly.
In a mixing bowl, add yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and salt and blend effectively.
To deliver all of it collectively, lay the toasted bread on the backside of a tray, drain the chickpeas and layer on prime of the bread. Prime with the yoghurt combine.
Lastly, in a saucepan, soften a beneficiant quantity of butter, add nuts and toast to a golden color. Drizzle the scorching nuts and butter on prime of the bread and chickpeas. Add a sprinkle of paprika.
Serve instantly – with radishes and recent mint on the facet for added crunch, freshness and zing. Garlic croutons are an elective additional for additional crunch.
The Shahrouk sisters – Halla, Houda, Leeann and Rouba – had been the winners of the primary collection of Channel 9’s Household Meals Combat in 2017. You possibly can watch a video of them getting ready this dish here, and observe their cooking adventures on Instagram.