Fattah Recipe: Traditional Egyptian Dish


Fattah Recipe: Traditional Egyptian Dish
Region / culture: Egypt | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour | Servings: 6



Fattah is a traditional Middle Eastern dish that consists of layers of rice, meat, and crispy bread, topped with a flavorful dressing. This dish is popular in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, where it is often served during special occasions and celebrations.


The origins of Fattah can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was considered a luxurious dish fit for royalty. Over time, the recipe spread to other Middle Eastern countries, each adding their own unique twist to the dish. Today, Fattah remains a beloved dish that is enjoyed by many.


How to prepare

  1. To prepare a perfect dish of Fattah, follow these four steps.
  2. Step 1: Preparing the meat
  3. Fill a pot with water and add two small peeled onions, pepper, mastic, and a cardamom. Once the water starts boiling, add the pieces of meat and let them stew.
  4. Step 2: Preparing the rice
  5. Wash the rice and let it soak in water for about 10 minutes. Then, drain the rice well. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the rice and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir the rice for 5 minutes. Add 2 glasses of the meat stew to the rice. Cook the rice on low heat for 20 minutes until it absorbs all the stew and becomes tender. Remove from heat when the rice is dry.
  6. Step 3: Preparing the crisp pita bread
  7. Cut the pita bread into small square pieces and place them in a pan. Apply oil or butter to the bread pieces. Preheat the oven and bake the bread pieces for about 10 minutes until they turn golden and crisp.
  8. Step 4: Layering the ingredients
  9. In a deep bowl, layer the ingredients as follows: bread, rice, meat, and repeat. Pour some meat stew on each layer. For the top layer of rice, do not pour any stew to prevent it from becoming soggy.
  10. Step 5: Preparing the dressing
  11. In a frying pan, combine one tablespoon of crushed garlic, one tablespoon of ghee, half a teaspoon of cumin, and 0.25 tsp of salt. Dissolve one tablespoon of tomato paste in two tablespoons of water. Heat the frying pan over low heat and stir the garlic, ghee, cumin, and salt until the mixture darkens. Add the prepared tomato paste and stir for a minute. Then, add 1 tbsp of vinegar. Let the mixture simmer on low heat for 4-5 minutes. Pour the dressing over the Fattah dish.
  12. Your Fattah dish is now ready to be served!


  • Vegetarian Fattah: Replace the meat with cooked chickpeas or lentils for a vegetarian version of the dish.
  • Seafood Fattah: Substitute the meat with cooked shrimp or fish for a seafood twist on the classic recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Make sure to soak the rice before cooking to ensure that it cooks evenly and absorbs the flavors of the stew.

- Use a mix of spices like mastic, cardamom, and cumin to add depth and complexity to the dish.

- Layer the ingredients carefully to ensure that each bite is a perfect combination of flavors and textures.

Serving Suggestions

Fattah is best served hot, garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or mint. It can be accompanied by a side of yogurt or a simple salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Stewing: Stew the meat with onions and spices to infuse it with flavor and make it tender.

- Baking: Bake the bread pieces in the oven to make them crispy and golden.

Ingredient Substitutions

Basmati rice can be used instead of short rice for a fragrant and fluffy texture.

- Olive oil can be used instead of ghee for a healthier alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

Fattah can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Simply reheat in the oven before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Fattah in a large serving dish, garnished with toasted nuts and a drizzle of olive oil for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Fattah pairs well with a side of tabbouleh salad or a refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. It can also be served with a side of pickled vegetables for added flavor.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Fattah in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Fattah contains approximately 500-600 calories, making it a hearty and satisfying meal.


The main sources of carbohydrates in Fattah come from the rice and bread used in the dish. These carbohydrates provide the body with energy and are essential for overall health and well-being.


Fats in Fattah mainly come from the ghee used in the dressing and the oil used to crisp the bread. While fats are high in calories, they are also important for absorbing certain vitamins and minerals.


Proteins in Fattah come from the meat used in the dish. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, making it an important nutrient for overall health.

Vitamins and minerals

Fattah is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, iron, and calcium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, strong bones, and overall well-being.


Fattah contains gluten from the bread used in the dish. It may also contain dairy if ghee is used in the dressing. Individuals with gluten or dairy allergies should exercise caution when consuming this dish.


Fattah is a nutritious and delicious dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a hearty meal that is perfect for special occasions and celebrations.


Fattah is a delicious and comforting Middle Eastern dish that is perfect for special occasions and celebrations. With layers of rice, meat, and crispy bread, topped with a flavorful dressing, this dish is sure to impress your guests and leave them wanting more.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Fattah. It was a hot summer day, and I was visiting my friend Sara who had just returned from a trip to Egypt. She was buzzing with stories of her adventures and the delicious food she had tried. As we sat in her cozy kitchen sipping on mint tea, she pulled out a tattered old notebook filled with handwritten recipes.

"This one is a traditional Egyptian dish called Fattah," Sara explained, her eyes sparkling with excitement. "It's made with layers of rice, bread, and meat, all soaked in a savory yogurt sauce. It's absolutely divine."

I was immediately intrigued. My love for trying new recipes and exploring different cuisines had always been a big part of who I was. Sara handed me the recipe, and I scanned it over, taking in the intricate steps and unique ingredients.

"I have to make this," I declared, my mind already racing with ideas on how to adapt the recipe to suit my taste.

Over the next few weeks, I delved into the world of Fattah, researching its origins and variations. I learned that it was a popular dish in many Middle Eastern countries, each with its own twist on the classic recipe. I tried different versions from Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, each offering a new flavor profile and texture.

But it was the Egyptian version that captured my heart. The combination of tender lamb, fluffy rice, crispy bread, and tangy yogurt was a symphony of flavors and textures that danced on my taste buds. I knew I had to master this dish and make it my own.

I spent hours in the kitchen, experimenting with different spices, cooking techniques, and ingredient combinations. I tested and retested the recipe, tweaking it here and there until it was just right. And finally, after countless trials and errors, I had created my own version of Fattah that was bursting with flavor and authenticity.

I shared my creation with my friends and family, who all marveled at the complex flavors and textures of the dish. They urged me to enter it into a local cooking competition, where it won first place and garnered rave reviews from the judges.

From that moment on, Fattah became a staple in my repertoire of recipes. I would make it for special occasions, family gatherings, and whenever I wanted to transport myself back to that hot summer day in Sara's kitchen.

As the years went by, I continued to perfect my Fattah recipe, adding new twists and techniques to keep it fresh and exciting. I shared it with anyone who would listen, passing on the tradition of this ancient dish to a new generation of food lovers.

And now, as I sit here in my kitchen, surrounded by the aroma of simmering lamb and spices, I can't help but smile at the journey I've been on with Fattah. It's more than just a recipe to me - it's a connection to my past, a tribute to my love for cooking, and a reminder of the power of food to bring people together.

So thank you, Sara, for introducing me to Fattah all those years ago. Your gift of that tattered old recipe has enriched my life in ways I never could have imagined. And I can only hope that my version of Fattah will continue to inspire and delight others for years to come.


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