The best Syrian Fatteh with chickpeas and beef


This Fatteh recipe is one that comes from my Syrian/Armenian mother. While the recipe has many steps, nothing is particularly complicated. You just need to make a few different things that you then layer before serving.

What exactly is Fatteh?

Fatteh is basically a better version of hummus. Think of it as hummus on steroids. It has all the things you wish you hummus had, like toasted pita bread and spiced meat.

My Fatteh recipe has multiple layers of pita bread, tahini sauce, sauteed meat, and then toppings like pine nuts, fresh herbs, or pomegranate seeds. Surprisingly for most Westerners, it’s often eaten for breakfast, served along with strong black tea to help aid digestion (because frankly right after eating this you seriously need to go take a nap).

Photo credit: Alex MacDougald Photography

Where does Fatteh come from?

Fatteh is a dish that’s found all over the Arab world, including Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria.

While I don’t have firsthand experience with all of these countries, I do know that in the cities of Damascus and Latakia in Syria you can find restaurants that serve only Fatteh. There are multiple variations on this dish, ranging from the simplest one (a vegetarian or even vegan version), to versions with chicken, beef, or even the king of Fatteh that has lamb, eggplant, pine nuts, and clarified butter drizzled on top.

Photo credit: Alex MacDougald Photography

Tips & ideas for making my Fatteh recipe:

  • The dish is made up of separate parts that are layered together right before serving, so it’s important to be attentive to timing. This is definitely not one of those make-ahead dishes.
  • You can, however, make all the parts in advance (like the meat, the toasted pita, and the sauce), and then assemble them last minute.
  • It’s also a good idea to serve Fatteh in a transparent dish so that you can show off all those beautiful layers.
  • Feel free to personalize the toppings, including toasted pine nuts, pistachios, fresh parsley dusted with sumac, pomegranate seeds, etc.
  • You can make Fatteh with a variety of different meats. Why not experiment with ground lamb that you spice the same way as the beef here or even leftover rotisserie chicken that you simply shred?
  • When adding the chickpeas, make sure that they’re not too hot, otherwise, they’ll make the pita bread become soggy. Aim for slightly warmer than room temperature.

My mom’s Syrian Fatteh recipe

Fetteh recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Fatteh, Syrian-style

This Fatteh recipe features spiced ground beef, toasted pita, whole chickpeas and a garlicky chickpea sauce.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Syrian
Keyword: chickpea, fatteh, ground beef, pita
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Gitanjali


Bottom layer

  • 3 Lebanese-style pita breads toasted in the oven until golden brown, then cooled and broken into bite-sized pieces (see recipe below)

Middle layer

  • 800 grams canned, cooked chickpeas (half will be used for the sauce, the other half for layering)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 4 cloves garlic divided, 2 for the chickpeas and 2 for the sauce
  • 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons

Top layer

  • 600 g ground beef or ground lamb
  • 3-4 tbsp 7-spice a spice mix found in most Middle Eastern shops
  • salt and pepper

For the toppings

  • cumin
  • Aleppo pepper
  • pine nuts lightly toasted
  • fresh parsley chopped
  • fresh pomegranate


For the pita bread

  • Place the pita, whole, in the oven at 180 C until it becomes golden brown and nicely toasted. Keep your eye on it because it can burn very suddently! This step only takes a couple of minutes.
  • Let it cool on the counter, then break it up with your hands into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

For the meat

  • Put a large saucepan on medium heat. Add some olive oil or vegetable oil, then add the meat and the 7-spice. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the meat until it's nicely browned. Taste and feel free to add more 7-spice or salt and pepper according to taste.

For the chickpeas

  • Take all of the chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly in a colander until the water is no longer frothy.
  • Place them in a pot, cover with water, and add the 2 garlic cloves, some salt, and a pinch of cumin. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the chickpeas (but make sure to keep the water!) and then divide them into 2. Set half aside.
  • Use the remaining half of the chickpeas to make the hummus-style sauce. In a food processor: combine the chickpeas, 2 remaining cloves of garlic, tahini, Greek yogurt, the juice of the 1 large or 2 small lemons, plus salt and pepper to taste. Blend and then add the reserved chickpea cooking water until the sauce reaches a consistency that's slightly thinner than hummus. The taste should be similar to hummus but the consistency should be more sauce-like and less dip/spread like.

To assemble

  • Add one later of toasted pita bread to the bottom of the dish.
  • Cover the bread with the chickpea sauce.
  • Add the whole chickpeas on top. (Remember to make sure they're not too hot!)
  • Finally, add the spiced meat.
  • Top with a sprinkling of cumin, Aleppo pepper, and all the toppings you like: chopped parsley or mint, pomegranate, toasted pine nuts, etc. You can also drizzle some melted butter or ghee on top just before serving, because hey, why not.
Fetteh recipe


La recette du Fatteh


Pour la couche du dessous

  • 3 pains pita ( libanais) grillés au four jusqu’à l’obtention d’une couleur doré foncé, puis refroidis et cassés en morceaux de la taille d’une bouchée ( voir la recette ci-dessous)

Pour la couche intermédiaire

  • 800g de pois chiches en boîte, déjà cuits ( on utilisera une moitié pour la sauce, et l’autre pour le dessus de la préparation)
  • 2 c.à soupe de tahini
  • 2 c.à soupe de yaourt grec
  • 4 gousses d’ail (2 pour les pois chiches et 2 pour la sauce)
  • 1 gros citron ou 2 petits

Pour la couche supérieure

  • 600g de viande hachée (bœuf ou agneau)
  • 3 c.à soupe du mélange 7 épices (que l’on trouve dans la plupart des magasins)
  • Sel, poivre

Pour les garnitures

  • cumin
  • Piment d’Alep
  • Pignons de pin légèrement grillés
  • Persil frais ciselé
  • Une grenade fraîche
Photo credit: Alex MacDougald Photography


Le pain pita

  • Mettre le pain pita entier au four chauffé à 180°jusqu’à obtenir une couleur doré foncé et qu’il commence à griller légèrement. Surveiller attentivement car il peut se mettre à brûler soudainement ! Cette étape ne prend que 2 minutes environ.
  • Laisser refroidir en dehors du four puis casser des morceaux à la main, de la taille d’une bouchée. Réserver.

La viande

  • Sur un feu moyen, mettre une grande casserole ou sauteuse à chauffer avec de l’huile d’olive ou de l’huile végétale. Ajouter la viande assaisonnée du mélange 7 épices, saler, poivrer. Faire cuire la viande jusqu’à ce qu’elle brunisse. Goûter et ne pas hésiter à ajouter au besoin du mélange 7 épices, sel ou poivre selon vos goûts.

Les pois chiches

  • Rincer abondamment les pois chiches dans une passoire jusqu’à ce que l’eau de rinçage soit bien claire.
  • Placez les dans une cocotte, recouvrer d’eau, ajouter 2 gousses d’ail, du sel et une pincée de cumin. Amener à ébullition, puis faire mijoter 20 mn
  • Egoutter les pois chiches, mais attention de récupérer l’eau de cuisson ! Puis faire les séparer en 2 portions. Réserver une des deux portions.
  • L’autre portion va servir à faire une sauce, du style hummus. Dans votre robot de cuisine, verser les pois chiches, les 2 gousses d’ail restantes, du tahini, le yaourt grec, le jus du gros citron ou des 2 petits, saler, poivrer. Mixer, puis ajouter l’eau de cuisson des pois chiches jusqu’à obtenir une sauce qui sera plus liquide que de l’hummus. Le goût sera le même, mais la consistance sera celle d’une sauce et non pas celle d’une pâte.


  • Tapisser le fond du plat avec le pain pita grillé
  • Recouvrir le pain de la sauce aux pois chiches.
  • Ajouter sur le dessus les pois chiches qui étaient réservés (Attention de les faire refroidir un peu avant !)
  • Enfin, ajouter la viande épicée.
  • Saupoudrer ensuite de cumin, de piment d’Alep, et toutes les garnitures que vous aimez : persil ciselé ou menthe, grenade, pignons de pins grillés, etc . Vous pouvez aussi verser du beurre fondu ou du ghee juste au moment de servir, parce que…pourquoi pas ?

Fatteh recipe Pinterest

If you’re looking for more Middle-Eastern dishes, be sure to check out all of my other savory recipes!

And a big thanks to Alex MacDougald Photography for the beautiful shots!

You might also enjoy:

1 Comment

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating