fattet Makdous

a traditional syrian Recipe

serves: 18-22  |    prep time: 1.15 hr 

After her husband was kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night, Rasha made the difficult choice to take her three children and flee Syria. She ended up a single mother in Lebanon, a country saturated with war refugees and struggling with unemployment and poverty.

 

Seeking opportunity, Rasha attended a commercial kitchen training program for refugee women where she quickly became recognized for her culinary talent. Shortly thereafter Rasha was hired by Souk el Tayeb to work at their farmer's kitchen Tawlet in Saida, Lebanon. Through this work, Rasha is now able to develop herself professionally and support her children and family.

 

❤ Rasha’s story is one of great perseverance and inspiration; her ability to find and foster strength in herself and to use this strength to carry the lives of her children through tragedy and hardship is remarkable. When we asked Rasha how the international community could help refugees such as herself, she simply said: “give us the opportunity to work.”

 

In the film, Rasha shares her recipe for Fattet Makdous, a traditional Syrian casserole dish. Fattet Makdous begins with a crunchy bed of fried pita bread followed by a juicy layer of tomato sauce, covered with stuffed baby eggplants, and finally drizzled with a yogurt-tahini-garlic sauce. Rasha cooks typical Syrian dishes for her children so that they will not forget where they come from.

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special equipment considerations
  • Large casserole pan or roast pan (15 x 12 x 3.75)

  • slotted spoon

  • mortar and pestle

tomato sauce ingredients
  • 1 large onion, sliced

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • tomatoes, diced

  • 1 tbsp sea salt

  • 1 cup of water

  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree

  • 2 tbsp of pomegranate molasses

stuffed eggplants ingredients
  • 1 onion cut into medium sized slices

  • 1/2 kilo of ground meat (lamb) 

  • 2 kilo of miniature eggplants (can be found at the local Arabic grocery store or Asian grocery store.)

  • vegetable oil

yogurt tahini sauce ingredients
  • 6 cloves of garlic

  • 2 kilos of plain yogurt

  • 1 cup of tahini

  • sea salt

fried pita bread
  • 4 pieces of thin Arabic pita bread

  • 3 cups of vegetable oil

Rasha's fattet makdous recipe

  • Sautee the sliced onions in olive oil until soft and transparent. 

  • Stir in the diced tomatoes and 1 tbsp of sea salt.

  • Pour in 1 cup of water and stir.

  • Stir in the tomato puree and pomegranate molasses. Cover and keep on a low simmer as you begin the next step.

  • Prepare the eggplants by cutting off their tops and then peeling them, so they have alternating stripes. Using a knife, cut a two-inch lengthwise slit into one of the peeled strips of the eggplant (see film). This slit will be used to open the eggplant to stuff after the eggplant has fried.

  • In a deep frying pan, add 2 inches of vegetable oil to a frying pan. Heat the oil over medium flame. When the oil is hot, fry the eggplants, rotating them until they are slightly golden. Remove from the eggplants from the oil with a slotted spoon and allow to cool. 

  • Rip apart the pita bread so that it is in 1" x 1" squares. Set aside.

  • In the same oil, fry the pita bread squares until they are reddish brown. Remove the pita chips to a paper towel or colander with a slotted spoon. Once the pita chips have cooled down add them to the bottom of the casserole pan.

  • Sautee the meat in 1/4 cup of olive oil until it’s browned.  

  • Once browned, add a tsp of sea salt and one diced onion. 

  • Cook until the onion is translucent. Salt to taste. 

  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl mix the tahini into the yogurt. Smash 6 garlic cloves in a 1.5 Tablespoons of sea salt with a mortar and pestle. Mix this garlic paste into the tahini and yogurt. Set aside.

  • Stuff the eggplants with about two tablespoons of the fried meat and onion. Open each eggplant like a canoe. Fill the meat-onion mix into the canoe. Close the canoe around the meat. Squeeze out a bit of the oil as you close the eggplant canoes. *There should be about 1 cup of meat-onions on the side that should be used set aside to decorate the casserole at the end. 

  • Heat the tomato sauce up over a medium-low flame. Add the eggplants (meat facing up) in the tomato sauce. Heat the stuffed eggplants in the tomato sauce for about 3 minutes each. Remove from the sauce after 3 minutes and set aside.

  • Now it's time to assemble the casserole! Drizzle the tomato sauce over the pita chips in the casserole.

  • Evenly disperse the eggplant canoes over the sauce.

  • Drizzle the tahini sauce over the casserole.

  • Decorate the casserole with the remaining meat. *If you like pinenuts or almonds, feel free to fry them and decorate the casserole with them. 

  • Enjoy!!