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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Fattet Makdoos (layered platter of stuffed eggplants)

For this Recipe in Arabic, follow this link

Fattet Makdoos is very similar in concept to fattet beitinjan
But offers a whole new eating experience

"Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity."   - Khalil Gibran


Good morning to all of you my fabulous readers. And welcome back to my blog. I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with all your excitement about this blog, the recipes, the stories and of course about the Ramadan Special - the series of daily recipes, menus and free cooking consultations. If you are new to my blog and have no idea what I am talking about then please check this link for details about my special offer in celebration of the month of Ramadan. For those of you who have been with me for a while, thank you ever so much for your feedback, interactions, comments, compliments, requests... and all things fabulous you have been doing to keep me excited about blogging and sharing this knowledge with you :) I appreciate the friendships, even in their e-version lol so please keep it all coming, and make sure to let me hear from you.

Peel the small eggplants leaving some strips of skin
open a slit along the side and fry the eggplants
Drain and then fill
For today's recipe I am posting one very special fatteh platter. As I have mentioned in other fatteh posts, fatteh is an appetiser/ layered platter consisting of fried or toasted bread, topped with a cooked vegetable/s in some sauce, usually topped with garlic infused yogurt, and at times including tahina, then topped with garnish. Fatteh can be solely vegetarian, or it can include meats as in the case of fattet Djaj. These are the traditional makings of most fatteh platters. However, sometimes a fatteh platter can be made slightly different as in the case of today's fatteh platter. Today's recipe is very similar to Fattet Beitinjan. In fact it can also be carried out the same way as fattet beitinjan, but instead of cubing the eggplants, frying them and making a separate tomato sauce, you will omit all those and make these stuffed eggplants instead. Then you can layer the fried bread, the yogurt sauce and top with these stuffed eggplants and their sauce, followed by garnish. It is almost the same flavour palate, however the eating experience is slightly different as you will get bigger chunks of eggplant and sauce in every bite.

With that said, my mum makes this fatteh in a totally different way to that of Fattet Beitinjan. I am sharing with you her recipe, which I find to be a fresh way of making Fatteh. In this recipe instead of using crunchy bread cubes, we are going to toast the bread cubes, then re-hydrate them with chicken or beef stock. This fatteh therefore offers a comforting, chewy, soft experience as opposed to that usual crunchy texture. Don't let that turn you off, the whole outcome falls right into comfort foods, one that you will really appreciate when craving a salty, creamy, soft texture that is super moist, super delicious. Think of this fatteh as a savoury bread pudding. Absolutely fantastic! If you are still not sold on the idea, then you can follow the instructions above and go for the traditional fatteh experience, substituting cubed eggplants with these stuffed ones.
Another major difference in this version is that instead of going for the simple garlic infused yogurt, we are mixing both yogurt and tahina to make the fatteh sauce. The flavour combinations, the creamy smoothness, the slight chew of the minced meat and bread, against the velvety tomato sauce.... what more can I say?!

This recipe includes a Yogurt and Tahina Sauce
instead of the simple garlic infused yogurt sauce

OK so let's get cookin'...

Ramadan Recipe 6
Fattet Makdoos
You can grill the eggplants instead of frying them for a lower fat and lower cholesterol version.
TIP you can go for a spicy version - which is my favourite - by adding some chopped green chilies to the tomato sauce.

You Need
For Making Makdoos
10 - 15 pieces baby eggplants
500g minced lamb or beef
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 handful toasted pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 kg ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
Salt & Black pepper to taste



For the soaked bread mixture
6 thick pita breads, roughly cut up and toasted
3 ladles of chicken or beef broth
1 cup Tahina & Yogurt sauce


For Tahina & Yogurt Sauce
2 cups Tahina
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup lemon Juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
Salt & Black pepper 


For Garnish
Finely chopped parsley
toasted pine nuts and almonds



Mix all the ingredients of the Tahina & Yogurt sauce to make a creamy sauce that is slightly runny (ribbon consistency)

Toast the bread in a preheated oven until golden and crunchy. In the meantime make the Yogurt and Tahina Sauce. Place the tahina, salt, black pepper, the crushed clove of garlic, and lemon juice in a large bowl and mix to form a paste. Thin the paste with the yogurt until you get a creamy ribbon consistency sauce. Add the chopped parsley and mix well. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel the eggplant, leaving a few strips of skin on. Make a slit along one of the sides of each eggplant and fry or grill the eggplants until slightly golden brown. Drain the fried eggplants on kitchen towels, and set aside to slightly cool.

Make the Meat filling, by softening the chopped onions in 1 tbsp olive oil, once slightly softened, add the minced garlic and cook until translucent but not browned. Add the minced meat and season with salt and black pepper. Cook stirring occasionally until the juices run out and the meat is slightly browned. Remove from heat, and add the toasted pine nuts. Stir to mix and set aside to cool slightly.
Fill the eggplants - through the side slits - with the meat mixture and set aside.

Cook the filled eggplants in tomato sauce until completely cooked through and flavours have fully infused.

In a medium cooking pot, heat the remaining tbsp of olive oil and stir fry the chopped, peeled tomatoes and sugar. Mix well and stir fry until the tomatoes have softened and reduced slightly. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Adjust the liquid level if necessary by adding a little water or chicken/beef broth. However you want to end up with a thick sauce not a tomato soup, so be careful about adding too much water. Add the filled eggplants and carefully fold to coat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place the toasted bread in a large saucepan. Re-hydrate them with the broth and toss to coat. Add 1 cup of the yogurt Tahina sauce onto the re-hydrated bread and toss to coat. 

Place the bread mixture at the bottom of a serving dish, top the mixture with the rest of the Tahina yogurt sauce and spread to cover the whole surface. Carefully fish out the stuffed eggplant pieces, and place them on top of the sauce layer. Once you have placed all the eggplants, drizzle the sauce all over the tops. Sprinkle the top with finely chopped fresh parsley, and toasted almonds and pine nuts. Serve warm.
In the case of left overs although remotely possible, you can also enjoy this fatteh cold.

Devour!



Mum makes this fatteh on the first day of Ramadan, kind of her way of welcoming the holly month. Then makes it frequently throughout as it is always being requested. We love it at home, and the first day of this Ramadan I could not help but have 3 large servings of it, and another one late night serving, while watching Hareem Al Sultan, which my mum got me totally hooked on in just 5 days!! The fatteh is delicious, the TV is full of drama and life is good!

Hope you liked this recipe and that you will try it. Do let me know how it turns out. Please remember that as part of my Ramadan Special I will be offering a few cool foodie giveaways, which I will announce soon. For a chance to win you must carry out a recipe from this blog, take a photo of it and share the photo with me. Who knows maybe you will be a lucky winner, so don't miss out :))

Come back again tomorrow for more, and show me some love before you leave...



Remember to smile this Ramadan, Smiling is the portrait of friendliness
Ramadan Kareem

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