Lamb pilaf fatteh
Prep time 25 mins
Cook 20 mins
Fatteh is a dish that is found in various forms across the Levant. Fatteh refers to the broken bread crumbled on top of the dish, and this can be anything from a salad, to a braise or an all-in-one pilaf like this. This is not a traditional version by any means, but based on various styles. If there are any leftovers, the lamb pilaf is also fantastic made into a rice and yoghurt soup, which you can do just by adding to hot chicken stock - make as soupy as you like, and finish with a cup-full of yoghurt stirred through to finish.
2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
2 large golden shallots, diced
1 cinnamon quill, broken in half
5 cardamom pods
2 tsp ground cumin
300g coarsely minced lamb
1 1/2 cups of basmati rice
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
4 wholemeal pita pocket breads
A handful of mixed herbs, such as flat leaf parsley, coriander, to serve
Pomegranate arils, to serve
Thinly sliced white onion, to serve
Toasted pine nuts, to serve
Heavy sprinkle of sumac, a drizzle of melted ghee or extra-virgin olive oil and or squeeze of lemon juice, to serve
1 1/2 cups natural yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, finely grated on a mandolin
Juice of 1 small lemon
1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Bake pita bread turning occasionally until crisp and golden (15 minutes).
2. Meanwhile heat ghee in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add golden shallot, cardamom pods and cinnamon and stir occasionally until onion is just tender and spices are fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add lamb and ground cumin to pan and stir occasionally until lamb fat starts to render down and cook (about 5 minutes). Add rice and stir to coat then add 400ml of water, or enough to cover the rice mixture by about 1 cm. Stirand season to taste, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to low and cook until liquid is absorbed (about 10 minutes). Remove lid and stir through chickpeas then season to taste and cover with a tea towel to steam rice a little.
3. Meanwhile for yoghurt dressing stir ingredients in a bowl and season to taste. You may need to loosen the mixture with a little water if too thick.
4. To serve, spoon the pilaf into a bowl and alternate topping by crumbling over broken pita, then drizzle with yoghurt dressing and scatter with herbs,onion, pine nuts, pomegranate, sumac and olive oil with lemon on the side for squeezing.