• Zucchini fatteh (Racha Abou Alchamat)Source: Racha Abou Alchamat

You need to eat fatteh straight away so you can get the best out of the crispy bread once it's soaked with tahini and yoghurt sauce.

Serves
4-6

Preparation

40min

Cooking

50min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
Yum

A classic Syrian dish made with zucchini, fried pita bread and tahini yoghurt sauce. The first layer is crunchy pita bread pieces mixed with homemade tomato/onion sauce, topped with yoghurt tahini sauce, stuffed zucchini, and sprinkled with crunchy nuts, fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg zucchini
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice (washed and soaked in warm water for an hour then strained)
  • 200 g minced beef/lamb 
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, crushed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil/ghee

Tomato sauce

  • 1 kg fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 kg onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste (optional)
  • 2 tbsp tomatoes paste
  • 200 g tomato puree 
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses  
  • Black pepper, salt and sweet paprika powder, to taste

Tahini sauce

  • 1 kg natural yoghurt
  • 3 garlic, crushed
  • 8 tbsp tahini
  • 3 lemons, juice only
  • Salt, to taste

Crispy bread

  • Arabic flatbread, roughly chopped into squares
  • Sunflower oil, for frying

To serve

  • 2 tbsp ghee (extra)
  • Nuts (pinenut, cashew, almond, pistachio), chopped
  • Parsley, chopped
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Pomegranate molasses

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Soaking time 1 hour

  1. To prepare the zucchini, cut the top and scrape the inner flesh using a fruit corer or tablespoon (see Note).
  2. In a medium-based frypan, caramelise the onion, garlic in olive oil or ghee and then add the rice, minced meat, salt and pepper until browned. Take it off the heat, add the parsley and crushed tomatoes and stir well. 
  3. To stuff the zucchini, using your hands scoop small amounts of the cooked stuffing into the hollowed zucchini shells. Fill to the top without forcing too much rice inside. 
  4. To make the tomato sauce, caramelise the onion, garlic, tomato and chilli in a medium-based frypan. Stir in the tomato paste and puree, lemon juice, molasses, pepper, salt and sweet paprika until combined. Add the stuffed zucchini to the pan and let it simmer in the sauce for 30 minutes or until the rice has cooked. 
  5. To make the tahini sauce, mix the yoghurt, crushed garlic, tahini and lemon juice until well combined. Salt, to taste.
  6. Fry the flatbread in a pan and set it aside on some baking paper to absorb the oil.
  7. To assemble, take a large plate and layer with the crisp flatbread, tomato sauce and then the tahini sauce and top with the stuffed zucchini.
  8. To garnish, heat the nuts in ghee until golden and drizzle it all over the zucchini. Top with parsley, pomegranate seeds and some more molasses, if you like.

 

Note

•  This chilli paste is ready-made in a jar from chillies only. It is available from Middle Eastern grocers and shops, or you can add a dollop of chilli sauce if you like or completely omit this.