Rolled Kufta Aubergine Fatte
Fatte is a style of food with a specific preparation technique that involves fried Arabic bread (pita) and endless options of sauces and toppings. It is one of those Iftar dishes that forms part of the Iftar table alongside lentil soup and tatar burak and many others. What does fatte mean? It is basically pieces of bread that soak up a sauce. In the olden days stale bread was used as food was scarce and there was no room for waste, it was recycled, nowadays fried bread is more common. As I mentioned before this dish has many variations using a particular preparation technique. The Egyptian fatte is very different in style from the Levantine fatte, though it is executed following almost the same technique. The various variations of Levantine fatte, on the other hand, bear the same names across the region, however, differ slightly with add-ons of spices or ingredients, from one city to another. For example, a Homsi chicken fatte has an add-on of cooked white rice as opposed to the Damascene one. The traditional fattes are chickpea fatte (a stable Friday breakfast), chicken fatte, aubergine fatte, offal fatte, trotter fatte, meat fatte and many more. I love to play around with this dish as the variations are endless as long as you follow the technique:
1. Fried bread, a yogurt sauce, and sauce of some sort with a topping of vegetable or meat.
2. Fried bread, a yogurt sauce, rice cooked in a stock and meat topping.
Yield: 15 rolls
For the sauce:
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 900 grams stewed tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons tamarind
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the aubergine rolls:
- 2 large aubergines, sliced 1/4" thick
- 1 recipe kufta
- 2 medium Arabic bread (pita), cubed and fried in oil
- A handful of toasted pine nuts
- A handful pomegranate seeds
- 1 recipe yogurt tahini sauce
1. Place the Arabic bread in the serving casserole dish.
2. In a pan sauté the onion with a bit of oil until softened then add the minced garlic.
3. Add the stewed tomatoes, tomato paste and tamarind with 1/2 cup of water cover and let it boil for 10 minutes then put on very low heat until the aubergine is ready to be drop in.
4. Peel the aubergine and slice 1/4" thick.
5. Lay in a colander and sprinkle with salt as seen in the picture, repeat until aubergine is finished then let it bleed* for 30 minutes.
6. Pat the aubergine dry with paper towel and lay on the board and spread some kufta meat then roll it as seen in the picture.
7. Secure the roll with a cocktail stick and repeat until the aubergine is finished.
8. Drop the rolls into the tomato sauce and cook covered for 20 minutes or so adjusting the salt until the rolls are cooked and the sauce is reduced as in the picture.
9. Gradually pour the tomato sauce over the fried bread, and give it a good toss, then top the mix with the aubergine rolls.
10. Top with a blanket of the yogurt tahini sauce and decorate with a sprinkle of fried pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
* For a healthier and less calorific option I opted not to fry the aubergines as cutting it thin then *bleeding it makes the slice pliable and easy to work with.
* For a vegetarian option you can roll the aubergines with fried onions and red bell peppers.
* I recommend using a thick pita bread as it absorbs more liquid.
* The bread can be toasted in the oven 180 c for 7 to 10 minutes for a healthier option.
Per Serving: 394 Calories; 20g Fat (43.2% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 43g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 43mg Cholesterol; 1285mg Sodium.