Fatteh (Pita with Chickpeas and Yogurt) and a Chickpea Blog Hop

I’ve only just discovered fatteh - a Levantine dish of crumbled, toasted pita covered in warm chickpeas and cool, tangy yogurt sauce – but I’m in love. It’s easy to prepare, often vegetarian, makes good use of ingredients I typically have on hand, and is a satisfying snack, starter, or breakfast. I came across it while researching an upcoming article for TreeFree Food on leftovers around the world and found fatteh as a perfect use for stale, leftover pita. The word fatteh is Arabic for “crushed” or “crumbs”, and is the name for all manner of riffs on a crumbled, toasted pita casserole. If you’ve ever had fattoush salad with toasted pita on top, I believe it comes from the same root.

Fatteh - Pita with Chickpeas and Yogurt

Fatteh is popular, in slightly different iterations, in Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. Living in Israel I mention Israel and Middle Eastern food often, but a while back I got an email from Summer of the wonderful food blog Mimi Cooks. As a woman of Palestinian origin she asked in a kind and thoughtful way if I ever post about Palestinian food, or even have any knowledge of it. “Not to be political at all,” she wrote, “but I’m only wondering because they [Palestinians] exist in the country and I’m sure Israeli food has been influenced by Palestinian food throughout history.”

It was an email that made me stop in my tracks, think, and smile. Summer had called me out on a major shortcoming of my blog, and one that I wanted to remedy. The truth is that everything here (seriously, everything) is political and for better or worse, I try to keep my head down. But I’m passionate about the foods of the region and want to share them with my readers. Many of the most iconic Israeli dishes – falafel, shawarma, hummus, etc – are culinary transplants from the surrounding countries, which is completely natural. While each place has a distinct cuisine, history and proximity have led to lots of overlap in recipes.

Fatteh - Pita with Chickpeas and Yogurt

In a follow-up email Summer wrote, “I just feel that Middle eastern food in general and Palestinian food especially, is not represented enough in the food and cooking industry and only the tip of the iceberg is known.” It’s so true! So, here is my first attempt to remedy that. I offer fatteh and hope to bring you many more Palestinian and Levantine dishes in the near future. While the recipe here is vegetarian, Summer says that chicken fatteh with rice (see her recipe here) is the national dish of Gaza. And in general all manner of fatteh are served during the month of Ramadan (see also Summer’s chickpea fatteh recipe with video here).

5.0 from 2 reviews

Fatteh (Pita with Chickpeas and Yogurt)
 
Prep Time

Cook Time

Total Time

 

Popular throughout Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, fatteh takes minutes to make and is an incredibly satisfying snack or appetizer. The ingredients come together to create contrasting textures and temperatures in what can best be described as a deconstructed hummus dish.
Author:
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 3 pitas, cut into wedges
  • 1¾ cups (275 g) chickpeas (canned or cooked), drained and rinsed
  • Salt
  • 1 cup (225 g) plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini paste
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
  2. Put the pita wedges on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside. (Alternately, Palestinian recipes often call for frying the pita on the stovetop.)
  3. Put the chickpeas in a small pot along with 100 ml (½ cup) water and simmer over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, until the water has mostly absorbed and the chickpeas are heated through. Season with salt and remove from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, put the yogurt, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, tahini paste, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisk in a little water at a time if the mixture is too thick, until a desired consistency is reached.
  5. Break up the toasted pita wedges a bit and arrange them in an even layer on the bottom of a deep serving platter, bowl, or casserole dish. Top with the warm chickpeas, then the yogurt sauce. Sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley or cilantro and serve with additional pita or pita chips.

Notes
Kosher dairy, Vegetarian

If the blog hop doesn’t show up below, click here to view the collection and link up your recipes!


15 Comments

  1. Katherine, love this post and the recipe you included. The photos speak volumes! I could eat them.
    Thank you on touching on Palestinian cooking. your post is a wonderful introduction to new adventures in cooking. Hope you get to try more recipes from the region, I’m sure you will like most of them. Thanks for providing links to my blog too, I really appreciate it. I’m sharing this post on social media too, gotta share my 15 minute of fame with the world :)

  2. I do adore a deconstructed pile of goodness ;) and I’m always a fan of new ways to use up leftovers. Interesting points to contemplate, and I look forward to seeing all the new things you’ll be sharing!

  3. Liked the meaning of the word fatteh. Sounds very wholesome. Maybe I could sprinkle it with zattar which I love, love, love. Thanks!

  4. Love your recipe, Katherine, and I plan to share on my Facebook page later today. Also looking forward to checking out some of these other recipes. Your roasted chick pea dish with feta and mint looks divine as well!

  5. I’ve never heard of fatteh, but it sounds amazing! Salads with pita–yes please. :)

  6. This must be uber delicious!

  7. I absolutely love this as an appetizer idea!

  8. i spent my childhood in different parts of the middle east and LOVE the cuisine! fatteh is one of my abosolute favorite things to snack on :)

  9. Great looking dish! And interesting perspective from your Palestinian correspondent. A lot of food seems to know no boundaries, so the more versions we can sample the better I like it. ;-) Good stuff – thanks.

  10. A new salad to try that takes advantage of my pantry, looks delicious and what a wonderful idea to highlight the chickpea. I can’t think of a dish I haven’t enjoyed, across all cuisines, that call for garbanzo beans (even Persian chickpea flour cookies). I look forward to checking out the other recipes as well!

  11. And now I’m craving this! Great flavors, filling, but not terrible for you. My kind of snack!

  12. Food really does transcend. I was also struck when reading the new cookbook Jerusalem by their thoughts on this. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a must buy!

  13. Kristi

    I am so happy to find this recipe. I had fatteh for the first time in Abu Dhabi last week and I loved it. The version I had was just like this recipe but with pomegranate seeds. Can’t wait to try making it!

  14. Everyone knows that all these foods you have spoken of are NOT Israeli…………..they are 100% middle eastern. Please get a clue!!!!

    • Hi Sara, thanks for your comment – if you’d look at the post more carefully I hope you’ll see that I agree with you and say that dishes people think of as Israeli are in fact from the surrounding Middle Eastern countries. This post was an attempt to highlight Palestinian food…

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