Fattet al Makdous

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Fattet al Makdous is a Syrian layered dish that burst with flavours.  It is made five layers cook individually and assembled before serving. It is a bit time consuming and you will probably need 20 pans and pots to cook, but you can easily prepare most things hours before serving, warm each component and serve.

The dish is traditionally served in a casserole and it resembles lasagna. I served it as pictured so you can see the individual layers. You build fattet makdous by starting with crispy pita bread, then layer of fried aubergines, then tomato and onion sauce, then minced meat with roasted pine nuts and final layer of cold yogurt and tahini sauce. It is the ultimate comfort food.

INGREDIENTS

For the mince meat:

  • 500 g minced beef or lamb
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (roasted)
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3-4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbs oil

For the tomato sauce :

  • 3 big tomatoes (blended or chopped)
  • 1/2 white onion sliced into thin crescents
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp oil

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 2 cups full fat plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp tahini
  • salt to taste

For the auberine and crispy bread:

  • 1 big aubergine sliced into think circles
  • 3 small sized arabic pita bread (the thin one)
  • oil for frying

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut the pita bread into small squares and fry until golden in oil. Set aside
  2. Fry the aubergine in loads of oil until golden. Set aside
  3. In a small pan saute the onions for the tomato sauce until soft and translucent. Add the tomato paste cook for few seconds and then add the blended tomatoes and spices. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens
  4. For the minced meat start by chopping the onion and garlic really small. Saute until soft for couple of minutes. Add the mince meat and spices and cook until slightly brown. Add the molasses and roasted pine nuts cook for another minute. Set aside
  5. For the yogurt- Whisk well all the ingredients and adjust to your taste if needed. Set aside
  6. Time to serve the dish (finally!) – Preheat some of the elements if needed (the yogurt is served chilled!). Start with layer of crispy pita bread, aubergines, tomato sauce, mince meat and yogurt. Decorate with pomegranate pearls, and fresh parsley.

 

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