One day my husband requested a Syrian Fatta (it’s a layered dish that uses pita chips, rice, chicken, yoghurt sauce and chickpeas on top). Since I’m not Syrian by any meaning, I had to google it. Whichever recipe I could find at that moment, I gave to the judgement of my husband and received some corrections according to his taste. So he wanted something similar to the original Syrian fatta except with steak and nuts on top instead of chickpeas. The result came out amazing and we keep it as one of our favorite family meals, which is a great option for impressing guests as well.
Some steps mentioned below can be arranged prior to serving. Of course, it’s much better to cook everything at once, but as a mom of a toddler not every time I’m lucky to have a couple of uninterrupted hours in a raw. So a little magic is really needed to make a complicated dish happen – precooking it is 🙂
What I used (good for 6 people):
- 2,5 lb tenderloin steak
- 2 cups rice
- 3 loafs pita bread
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 4 table spoons minced garlic
- 1 cup roasted mixed nuts
- salt, pepper
- olive oil (it’s ok to substitute it with any vegetable oil)
- 1 table spoon butter
Step 1 – pita chips
Cut the pita bread (thick Arabic or thin Lebanese one) with kitchen scissors into 2×2 inch squares. Preheat the oven to 350F. Put all the cut bread in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and mix with your hands, so the bread absorbs the oil. Cover a cooking tray (I used two trays 13×18 in) with parchment paper – just for easier clean up – and spread the pita squares equally on the surface. If the bread is thin, bake for 3-4 minutes or until crunchy and golden. If the bread is thick, bake for 10 minutes or so. I strongly recommend to check on it frequently while baking chips for the first time, they can burn pretty fast. Also I tried making this dish in my hometown in Ukraine where I couldn’t find Arabic pita bread, so I used thin Armenian bread (lavash) instead. Tasted great as well.
This step can be done in advance. If made a day before serving, make sure to store it in a ziplock bag or airtight container.
When chips are ready, spread them on the bottom of the serving dish.
Step 2 – garlic sauce
Mix plain yogurt with minced garlic and season it to taste. Also can be made few hours before serving the dish or a day before. Both ways store it in airtight container in the fridge.
Step 3 – rice
Prepare 2 cups of your favorite kind of white rice according to the recipe. Can be cooked in the morning or a day ahead and stored in the fridge. Has to be warmed up before the assembly.
Step 4 – nuts
Chop nuts on the cutting board to make the mix more equal in size. This step can be made any time prior to serving. Brown them a little bit with butter in the skillet over the medium heat.
Step 5 – steak
Season the steak and while it’s cooking till well-done, start the assembly of the dish. When the steak is ready, cut it fajita style. If have no time and still want to cook the meat ahead, it’s fine. Don’t forget to warm the it up while layering.
Step 6 – assembly
I usually use 15×10 inches glass pyrex tray, so all the layers are seen through.
First go pita chips, then rice, then steak.
The downside is that it’s really hard to stop eating it 🙂
In case of any leftovers, taste even better the next day!