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 in all our youthful sisters really used to name the dish Ramadan – however we received’t identify and disgrace!
Our household is giant. There’s 13 of us in complete: one boy (the eldest), 10 women, and our superb dad and mom. Fattah was all the time teamwork. After we had been rising up, it used to contain numerous 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 duty in placing it collectively. One for the seasoning of the yoghurt. One for the proper boiling of the chickpeas. One for the gradual, buttery oven-baking of the bread. Then there’s our favorite position – the one all of us used to combat over – toasting the nuts in butter, numerous 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 sit down 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 are able to’t actually say we drew the brief straw.
We serve the fattah whereas the butter continues 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 all the Center East. Some cooks use eggplant. Some do it with rooster. Others favor 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 contemporary mint and purple radish. The thought is to serve chilly, garlicky, minted yoghurt on high of heat, crunchy, toasted bread and sizzling boiled chickpeas. It’s like a household signature dish – and one thing we made on Household Food Struggle. It’s our mom’s recipe tweaked with toasted garlic for added texture and flavour.
Our dad and mom 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 battle to marry our dad. In so some ways, she was actually thrown within the deep finish. So distant from her personal dad and mom 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 tons of people that all got here from the village my dad and mom got here from, which made it a bit simpler. All of them knew one another and so they form of created a brand new village to help one another.
Our mom additionally discovered lots from our father, Hassan, who loves cooking and likewise performed a task in instructing us methods to cook dinner. He makes a killer baba ganoush and he taught us lots about meat and the way to decide on and cook dinner greens.
Being within the kitchen collectively was all the time 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 lots 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 are actually all grown ladies, married with our personal households and households, so we’re every one-woman groups – except we assign roles to our personal youngsters!
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
Recent mint, to serve
Garlic croutons, elective, to serve
To arrange the chickpeas: soak dried chickpeas in a single day. The subsequent day, convey them to the boil and simmer for about 40 minutes till they’re barely mushy, 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 evenly 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 regularly.
In a mixing bowl, add yoghurt, garlic, dried mint and salt and blend nicely.
To convey all of it collectively, lay the toasted bread on the backside of a tray, drain the chickpeas and layer on high 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 high of the bread and chickpeas. Add a sprinkle of paprika.
Serve instantly – with radishes and contemporary mint on the aspect 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 sequence of Channel 9’s Household Meals Struggle in 2017. You may watch a video of them making ready this dish here, and comply with their cooking adventures on Instagram.