Fatteh, meaning ‘crumbs’ in Arabic – is a bread salad. Most people are familiar with fattoush, which is ubiquitous in most Middle Eastern restaurants; fewer people are familiar with fatteh – which is more of a home dish, an end of the week meal to use up any leftover bits and pieces and stale bread. It can be made with any number of ingredients, but the staples are fried or baked pieces of khubz / pita bread topped with whatever you have on hand, and traditionally a garlic yogurt or tahini sauce. Some people add rice, others don’t – it’s up to you, but if you have leftover riz bi sh’arieh (rice with vermicelli) it’s a great way to use that up, too. When it comes to fatteh, it’s really about using up the last little bits of things in the house and mixing them all together with a rich, creamy dressing; pretty perfect if you ask me.
This recipe is kosher dairy as it’s made with jackfruit and not actual chicken, but if you don’t follow kosher dietary laws you can use actual chicken (it’s a great way to use up leftover shredded rotisserie chicken meat). Also, if you’re vegan, the sauce can be replaced with a tahini sauce instead – I’ll include recipes for both – so you can choose your own adventure so to speak – dairy and chicken, or chicken and tahini, or jackfruit and dairy, or totally vegan jackfruit and tahini – the choice is yours. You can find my recipe for jackfruit ‘chicken’ shawarma here (and I’ll include the recipe below as well), or if you’re using leftover shredded chicken you can season with the shawarma seasoning, crisp up under the broiler, and it’s ready to go.
I like to present my fatteh on a large plate, undressed, so that people can assemble theirs themselves. This alleviates the stress of accommodating picky eaters – someone doesn’t like onion? Tomato? they can leave it out.
Once your plate has been assembled it’s time to add the good stuff: a generous helping of sauce. The sauce will soak into the bread, so it’s a good idea to pour the sauce on just before serving it – especially if you’re serving the fatteh family style, since you don’t want it to become soggy. If you’re serving on individual plates, you can set the sauce aside in a vessel so that people can pour their own on, like so:
This is one of my favourite meals, and not just because it’s a great way to use things up from my fridge – it’s a delicious, filling meal that’s so simple and customizable to your tastes. Even my super-picky nine-year-old doesn’t complain about this meal, which also makes it a winner. Not to mention, in true home economic form – it’s inexpensive and still relatively healthy.
Jackfruit ‘Chicken’ Fatteh
- 2 cups shredded shawarma jackfruit (or seasoned chicken)
- 1 15 oz tin chickpeas, drained (439g)
- 1 regular bunch parsley, washed, dried, and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 large khubz / pita bread, toasted and broken into pieces
- 12 regular cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
For the Yogurt Garlic Sauce (Dairy):
- 2 cups plain, unsweetened yogurt (laban)
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 Tbsp toum)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
-OR- For the Tahini Sauce (Vegan / Parve):
- 1 cup good tahini
- 2 lemons juiced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 Tbsp toum)
- 2 tsp agave nectar, or white sugar (or honey, if you are not vegan)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad:
- On a large platter place your jackfruit / chicken, chickpeas, parsley, crushed toasted bread, tomatoes, onion, and pine nuts.
For the Garlic Yogurt Sauce:
- Over low heat (too high will curdle the yoghurt) combine yogurt, garlic (or toum), garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Heat thoroughly, until warm – the consistency should be pourable, like a thin, creamy soup.
For the Tahini Sauce:
- In a food processor, mixer, or blender combine tahini, garlic (or toum), oil, water, lemon juice, agave (or honey), salt, and pepper. Blend until thoroughly combined. It should have a thin, pourable consistency – like a thin, creamy soup.
Assembling the Fatteh:
- Place desired items on a plate and pour your sauce over the top generously. Top with more pine nuts and parsley. Mix together and enjoy immediately.
Jackfruit ‘Chicken’ Shawarma
- Baking sheet
- 2 20 oz tins of young green jackfruit in brine (2x 560g tins)
- 2 Tbsp shawarma spice (recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- Drain your jackfruit and rinse thoroughly. Drain for a few minutes to remove any excess water.
- Coat your jackfruit in shawarma spice and add your oil, vinegar, and salt. Marinate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place your marinated jackfruit on the sheet and bake for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes use two forks to shred the jackfruit. Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until the texture of the jackfruit is like dry shredded chicken.
- Remove from the oven, cool, and freeze – or for immediate use, place under the broiler for 2-4 minutes until smoky and crispy.
Shawarma Spice Blend
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns (or ground)
- 1 Tbsp white peppercorns (or ground)
- 2 Tbsp allspice berries (or ground)
- 2 medium cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tbsp ground)
- 4-6 blades of mace (or nutmeg, or 1 Tbsp ground)
- 1 Tbsp cardamom (green), seeds (or 1 Tbsp ground)
- ½ Tbsp chili powder (or chipotle powder)
- ½ Tbsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
- ½ Tbsp dried marjoram (or oregano)
- ½ tsp cloves, whole (or ½ tsp ground)
- Grind all spices. Blend thoroughly.