Fetteh, a warm dish of thick yogurt with soft chickpeas, is a delicacy you ought to try. If there are any good Lebanese restaurants near you, that’s a good place to start looking. If not – make it yourself.
The concept of Fetteh (or “fata”, depending on who you ask) may sound strange to you at first. Basically, it’s a combination of soft cooked chickpeas (like the ones used for hummus and msabbha), with yogurt and toasted pita bread.
Well, I too had my doubts but I had to try. About a month ago, during a a trip to Berlin, I went to Azzam. That’s a Lebanese-Syrian place, in the south of Berlin (in Sonnenalle, near Hermannplatz U-Bahn station), which serves real hummus, msabbha, ful, shawarma, and other traditional middle-eastern goodies. One of which is Fata (that’s how they spell it).
It was absolutely superb, and I hated the idea of waiting for my next vacation to taste it again, so I took Mercedece’s fetteh recipe, made some adjustments and experimented a lot, until I finally been able to replicate Azzam’s fata. Sort of.
You should try to – it’s easy to make, it’s healthy, it’s a great solution for friends and family members who are allergic to sesame, and above all: it tastes wonderful.
[for two plates]
1/2 cup small dried chickpeas
150 pita bread (see explanation bellow)
1 garlic clove
2 cups of yogurt (preferably of sheep/goat milk)
1/4 cup pine nuts – or –
1/2 cup cashew
olive oil, salt, cumin
1. Soak chickpeas for at least 12 hours, in a large bowl with tap water. Switch the water at list once during that time.
2. Wash thoroughly and cook until soft (about 1/2 hour in a pressure cooker or 1-1.5 hour in a regular pot, with 1/2 tsp baking soda).
3. Toast the pitas until it fully crisps – if they are very flat it should be easy. If they are a bit thicker, cut every pita into two “circles” and go over it with a rolling pin until it’s 2-3mm thin.
4. Roast the cashew/pine nuts in a pan.
5. Lightly warm the yogurt – be careful, because if heated too long it could loose it’s consistency.
6. Filter and split the chickpeas into two small bowls, while still hot. Break the pitas into small pieces (but not too small) and mix with the chickpeas. Add some salt and cumin.
7. Poor the yogurt into the bawls, add the pinenuts/cashew and a little lemon juice and olive oil. Eat while still warm.