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Beef and Aubergine Fatteh

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

This is a subtly textured, richly flavoured arrangement of toasted pieces of flatbread topped with meaty aubergine and beef, a garlicky tahini-yogurt sauce, red pepper flakes, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and fresh shredded mint. I think of this rather as a refined, Middle-Eastern form of nachos.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is a subtly textured, richly flavoured arrangement of toasted pieces of flatbread topped with meaty aubergine and beef, a garlicky tahini-yogurt sauce, red pepper flakes, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and fresh shredded mint. I think of this rather as a refined, Middle-Eastern form of nachos.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Fatteh
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups

For the base:

  • 4 pitta breads (split open and cut into nacho-sized triangles)

For the topping:

  • 500 grams full-fat greek yoghurt
  • 5 x 15ml tablespoons tahini (at room temperature)
  • 1 - 2 lemons (to give 3 x 15ml tablespoons of juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (to taste)

For the aubergine-beef layer:

  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 medium-large aubergine (cut into small cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or paprika (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • 500 grams minced beef

To sprinkle over:

  • 125 grams pomegranate seeds
  • 50 grams toasted pinenuts
  • 1 tablespoon mint (finely shredded leaves)

For the base:

  • 4 pita breads (split open and cut into nacho-sized triangles)

For the topping:

  • 2 cups full-fat greek yoghurt
  • 5 x 15ml tablespoons tahini (at room temperature)
  • 1 - 2 lemons (to give 3 x 15ml tablespoons of juice)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)

For the aubergine-beef layer:

  • 3 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
  • 1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 medium-large eggplant (cut into small cubes)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or paprika (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1 pound ground beef

To sprinkle over:

  • ¾ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ⅓ cup toasted pinenuts
  • 1 tablespoon mint (finely shredded leaves)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F. Spread the pitta triangles out onto a large baking sheet and toast for 10–15 minutes, or until they are crisp. You don’t need them to colour, but if they do just a little here and there, that’s not a bad thing. Set the pitta triangles aside for the moment.
  2. Beat the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes together in a heatproof bowl that will later sit over a saucepan. Taste to see if you want any more salt. Put to one side while you cook the aubergine-beef layer.
  3. Warm the oil in a wide, though not deep, heavy-based saucepan or casserole and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low and carry on cooking it, still stirring occasionally, until soft and a pale caramel colour. This will take another 4 minutes or so.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium, tumble in the aubergine cubes and stir well to mix with the onion. Stay by the hob as you will need to stir frequently, and cook them for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if they look as if they’re catching.
  5. Stir in the cumin, coriander and a teaspoon each of Aleppo pepper and sea salt flakes and, now over a high heat, add the mince and use a fork to break it up a little and turn in the pan until it’s lost its red colour. Turn the heat back down to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. Taste to see if you want to add more salt, then take off the heat while you return to the tahini-yogurt sauce.
  6. Pour some just-boiled water into a fresh pan, enough to come about 3cm / 1¼ inches up the sides, and put over a low heat. Sit the bowl with the tahini-yogurt mixture on top, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Beat well until the yogurt is slightly above room temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream.
  7. Now for the grand assembly: arrange the crisp pitta triangles on a large round plate (I use one of about 32cm / 12 inches diameter). Top with the aubergine-beef mixture, followed by the yogurt-tahini sauce. Sprinkle with the Aleppo pepper (or paprika, if you’re using that) to give a light dusting. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts and, finally, strew with the finely shredded mint leaves. Eat with your fingers, nacho-style.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F. Spread the pitta triangles out onto a large baking sheet and toast for 10–15 minutes, or until they are crisp. You don’t need them to colour, but if they do just a little here and there, that’s not a bad thing. Set the pitta triangles aside for the moment.
  2. Beat the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt together in a heatproof bowl that will later sit over a saucepan. Taste to see if you want any more salt. Put to one side while you cook the eggplant-beef layer.
  3. Warm the oil in a wide, though not deep, heavy-based saucepan or casserole and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, over a medium-low heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to low and carry on cooking it, still stirring occasionally, until soft and a pale caramel colour. This will take another 4 minutes or so.
  4. Turn the heat up to medium, tumble in the eggplant cubes and stir well to mix with the onion. Stay by the hob as you will need to stir frequently, and cook them for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down if they look as if they’re catching.
  5. Stir in the cumin, coriander and a teaspoon each of Aleppo pepper and kosher salt and, now over a high heat, add the mince and use a fork to break it up a little and turn in the pan until it’s lost its red colour. Turn the heat back down to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through. Taste to see if you want to add more salt, then take off the heat while you return to the tahini-yogurt sauce.
  6. Pour some just-boiled water into a fresh pan, enough to come about 3cm / 1¼ inches up the sides, and put over a low heat. Sit the bowl with the tahini-yogurt mixture on top, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Beat well until the yogurt is slightly above room temperature and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream.
  7. Now for the grand assembly: arrange the crisp pitta triangles on a large round plate (I use one of about 32cm / 12 inches diameter). Top with the eggplant-beef mixture, followed by the yogurt-tahini sauce. Sprinkle with the Aleppo pepper (or paprika, if you’re using that) to give a light dusting. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and toasted pine nuts and, finally, strew with the finely shredded mint leaves. Eat with your fingers, nacho-style.

Additional Information

MADE AHEAD/STORE:
The pitta can be toasted 1-2 ahead. Store in an airtight container. The aubergine-meat layer can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and refrigerate, within two hours of cooking, in an airtight container. Return to the pan and add a splash of water, then reheat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.

FREEZE:
Meat layer can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.

MADE AHEAD/STORE:
The pitta can be toasted 1-2 ahead. Store in an airtight container. The aubergine-meat layer can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and refrigerate, within two hours of cooking, in an airtight container. Return to the pan and add a splash of water, then reheat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until piping hot.

FREEZE:
Meat layer can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.

Tell us what you think

What 18 Others have said

  • Made this for dinner tonight, for two of us, and ate the lot!! I drizzled a bit of olive oil over my pitta after toasting. It was like a fancy and very yummy sharing kebab plate, will definitely make it again for my partner and I, or a group of friends.

    Posted by SarahCasey on 14th July 2020
  • This recipe is perfect for gathering with friends. It tastes delicious and is exotic and interesting. It looks beautiful and it provides a relaxed and informal environment. It's fun having everyone huddled around a large platter of this picking, talking, and laughing. It always provides a perfect evening!

    Posted by joshv41680 on 11th July 2020
  • One of our favourite tv-dinners. After one try it became a regular dinner recipe.

    Posted by Nathalie15 on 8th February 2020
  • I made a vegan version of this last Christmas Eve for my family. I used soy patty instead of the beef and a vegan alternative instead of the yogurt. It was the most delicious thing I've ever eaten. I´m going to make it again this Christmas and I plan on making it a tradition for all Christmases to come.

    Posted by _Ella on 17th December 2019
  • I served this as an appetizer at a party and it sure was a crowd-pleaser. Very unique dish that has a total 'wow' factor.

    Posted by ursula.marie on 18th July 2019
  • This is absolutely delicious! Don't change anything, the recipe is perfect. Thank you so much.

    Posted by cartouche on 9th June 2019
  • Just great flavours and the dish looks Beautiful. The garlic and tahini dressing alone is amazing and I would happily serve that on its own as dip.

    Posted by BunnyMayfair on 9th June 2019
  • Amazing my "go to" for a group. Looks pretty and tastes delicious!

    Posted by Gandalf01 on 23rd February 2019
  • Made the dish last night with my wife. Delicious dish. Our two boys could not stop eating! Chet & Vjollca, Arlington, VA, December 2018

    Posted by Gjellrat1 on 4th December 2018
  • Dear Nigella, Thank you for providing detailed instructions for this marvelous dish! I prepared the dish last night. All four of us, my wife and 2 boys could not stop eating, it was delicious!

    Posted by Gjellrat1 on 4th December 2018
  • Favourite new summertime recipe, simply delicious and serves a few for sure!

    Posted by Gandalf01 on 17th July 2018
  • I admit I wasn't sure about this one, it seemed a bit "meh" flavour-wise. I'm also not a big fan of aubergine or tahini...but OH MY!!! It's fantastic in every way- I jsut finished eating it and I feel like my body is thanking me for giving it a great injection of much-needed nutrition. And FLAVOURFUL nutrition at that! I didn't have Aleppo Pepper but it works just fine with sweet paprika and a bit of cayenne so get cracking people: make it now!

    Posted by LolaFontaine on 3rd July 2018
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