Let's win over another weary heart!

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”  – Gandhi

There are very few flavours I did not like as a child. Fool Akhdar (green broad beans) was one of them! My Dad, however, loves these beans, and any food they go into. So Mum cooked all sorts of foods with these beans, such as Maloubet fool (green broad bean upside down, rice-based dish), Yakhnet Fool Bilaban (Stew of green broad beans in yogurt sauce), Yakhnet Fool bil Kuzbara (Stew of green broad beans and coriander)…. and the list was endless. It was like torture to me, because at that time, I had thought that I did not like green broad beans!

I had first tried this Fatteh at a neighbour’s home in Amman, back when I still thought I disliked this nightmare of a vegetable. We were invited, and it was rude to say “I don’t like this!” so I silently swallowed my dislike and absolute horror as the hostess served me a very generous portion of this Fatteh! – Another thing we did not do, is leave food in the plate. – I smiled to her, thanked her and looked at those beans stirring back at me as if in a challenge… I swear I felt like they almost told me ‘so what are you going to do now?‘. I decided to just eat the freakin’ plate-full, no beans shall challenge me! I did, shoving a spoonful after another, in an attempt to finish the lot as fast as anyone can possibly eat! My absolute confusion was in fact, when I realised that the flavour was actually superb! It did taste delicious!! My thoughts were trying to remind me: ‘But you don’t like these beans!’… my palate was begging to differ: ‘But you are loving this!‘… I ate the whole plate so fast that the hostess said: “you really like this Fatteh Dima! Shall I put some more for you?” I looked around to make sure no one was looking, nodded slightly in an attempt not to draw mum’s attention! Well, because, I always openly expressed my hate for these beans every time she cooked them! I ate until I couldn’t no more. Ever since then, I decided that I like green broad beans. I even looked forward for mom’s dishes that had these beans, and when I did give them a proper and open minded try, I discovered that they are in fact super delicious! I never looked back.


What I discovered when I actually gave myself a chance to taste was

The bold flavour of these beans, against the aromatic garlic and coriander was the perfect match, and a perfect base for many dishes. With a little help from the meat and bread flavours, the seasoning and the yogurt the whole thing tasted like a deep yet fresh and very summery bouquet of good green flavours. In terms of texture, there is a slight crunch from the beans and toasted or fried bread. There is a gentle bite from the meat, then a rushing wave of creaminess from the minted yogurt. The nuts add that strong crunchiness to the whole experience. I just wanted to keep eating, and that I did.

So here you go, Fattet Fool Akhdar for you to make and your family to appreciate… Let’s win over another weary heart.


As Featured in BBC Good Food ME


  • 2 small Thick Pita Breads, cut into bite-size squares
  • 250g green broad beans thoroughly washed (peeled, optional)
  • 2 cups chicken broth or beef broth
  • 250g lamb or veal finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch coriander, washed and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • DS Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

For Yoghurt Sauce

  • ½ Kg fresh yoghurt
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • DS Himalayan Pink Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

For Garnish

  • 1 tbsp parsley, washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted or fried pine nuts and almonds


If you like, and for better presentation of this fatteh, you can go the length of plating each serving as I have done for the main photo above. However traditionally it is served in one large platter. Do what you prefer and what your time allows, in the end it will taste just as good.

Start by placing the thawed and washed green broad beans in a cooking pot. Top with chicken or beef broth, season with black pepper and salt if needed (if broth is not priorly seasoned), and sprinkle with a dash of olive oil. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat.

While the meat is cooking, in separate skillet, sauté the sliced garlic and finely chopped coriander for about 5 minutes, or until wilted. Add the coriander mixture to the meat mixture and stir to mix. Ladle some of the broth from the cooking broad beans into the meat mixture and stir to coat. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, sauté the finely chopped onion in 1 tbsp olive oil till translucent but not browned. Add finely chopped meat and stir to mix. Season with Salt & Black pepper and cook stirring occasionally until the meat is browned and liquids run out.

Combine the meat mixture with the broad beans mixture together with the liquids, and bring to a gentle simmer.

Deep fry or toast the bread squares, till golden, drain on paper towels.

Prepare the yoghurt sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.


To assemble

place the toasted or fried bread squares along the bottom of a large serving dish. Top with the broad beans and meat mixture. Spread evenly. Top all with the prepared yoghurt sauce, and spread to cover the whole surface. Sprinkle the tops with the toasted/fried nuts and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve immediately or cold.


This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.


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