|Image by Chris Mejorada for ITP Publishing|
I love fattes and many different types of Syrian tabakh, but I don't actually cook it often for two main reasons. Even though I cook with very little fat, I still find tabakh quite heavy, unless you eat a tiny portion of it, and so it makes me feel like sleeping right away which is not ideal when I have to run around town. The other reason is that although it tastes delicious, it never tastes as good as Mami's cooking and makes me miss her tremendously!
But for BBC Good Food ME's Mother's Day issue, I created a menu, which reminded me of the best mother in the world – mine J And this Fete was one of the dishes I made. I can't wait to see her tonight as I'm off to Beirut again. So I will leave you with this delicacy for lunch.. Sahteen :)
Serves 4 - 6
Prep & Cook Time: ~ 45 minutes
· 4 medium sized eggplants, cut into large pieces
· 6 cups low fat yoghurt
· 4 medium loafs Arabic flat bread
· 800g lean minced beef
· 1 garlic clove, using garlic press
· 2 onions, finely chopped
· 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
· 1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
· 1 tbsp tomato paste
· 2 cups beef or chicken stock
· 1 tbsp tahina (sesame paste)
· 2 bay leaves
· 1 tsp sugar
· salt and pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt with a little water, sesame paste, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Cut the Arabic bread into squares, and either sauté them in a pan with a little oil, or toast them in the oven and set aside.
3. Heat a little sunflower oil in pan and cook the eggplants until they are almost ready, for about 10 - 15 minutes. Add the tomato paste, some hot water, sugar, seasoning and cook for a few more minutes until they are done.
4. In another pan, heat some olive oil, sauté the onions until translucent, add the garlic and cook a few more minutes before adding the minced meat, half the parsley and bay leaves. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes, until the meat is done, then add the hot stock and simmer on low heat for just a few minutes.
5. Now assemble the dish by starting with half the toasted bread, layer the meat on top, then add the eggplants, followed by the yoghurt and finish by adding the remaining bread and parsley (and some eggplants to decorate if you wish). Enjoy!
As featured in BBC Good Food ME March 2012