Egyptian Fattah: Meat, rice, crispy bread and garlicy tomato sauce


Egyptian Fattah is a classic dish from the beginning of time. It is very ancient and many arabic movies highlight this dish in big feasts, weddings and any other big events that occur in villages and old Egypt. It has it all in one dish: meat, rice, bread and tomatoes. Egyptian dish is also known to the other Arab countries as the fattah with the red sauce and this is due to the presence of another type of fattah with white sauce like the Lebanese fattah. The Lebanese fattah is covered with a delicious tangy sauce that is made of yogurt, tahini (sesame paste), lime juice and garlic. Hope you enjoy today the Egyptian version of fattah. There are so many steps but you can do it 🙂

  • Beef preparation
  • Tomato sauce preparation
  • Bread preparation
  • Rice preparation
  • Putting it all together



For the beef and broth preparation

1 lb beef stew
1 diced small red onion
1 tsp all spices
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 lime juice
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:
2 tbsp corn oil
1 tomato
2 fresh tomatoes blended in the blender
8 minced garlic cloves
1 tomato paste can
2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper
1 cup of water

For the rice:

2 cups calrose rice
3 cups of boiling water
1/2 cup fideos noodles
2 tablespoons corn oil
1/2 bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon bouillon powder (optional)
salt (1.5 to 2 teaspoons but you can taste and adjust)
1/8 teaspoon pepper

For the bread:
2 white pita bread or to be more traditional use Egyptian baladi bread
2 cups of oil for frying the pita bread
OR 2 tablespoons butter for baladi bread depending on the bread type (pita versus baladi)

Rice preparation
First thing, start with the water to get it hot. I use my electric kettle for that.
Wash the rice and let it drain in a strainer over a deep plate.
In a small pot, add the pasta and stir constantly until golden brown.
Add the rice and mix with the pasta.
Add the 2 tablespoons of the corn oil and stir.
Make sure all the rice grains are mixed well with pasta and the oil as in the above pic.
Now add the hot water.
Add the bouillion stock, salt and pepper.
Let it boil for 30 seconds.
Cover and move to the lowest heat.
Check after 25 minutes for readiness.
When ready, uncover the rice and let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Bread Preparation

Take pita or baladi bread and rip them into bite size pieces.

If using white pita bread:
In a frying pan, add the oil on medium heat and give it a chance to warm up.
Add the bread pieces and fry until golden brown and crisp.
Take the bread out on paper towel and set aside.

If using baladi bread:

On a stove top, melt the butter and mix the bread pieces with it.
Then at 400 degrees F. bake for 10 minutes until the bread become crispy.


Sauce Preparation

In a pan, add the corn oil on medium heat and warm it up.
Add the garlic and stri around for few seconds, Be careful not to burn it.

Add the 2 tbsp of vinegar.
Add the crushed tomato and the tomato paste.
Stir this until you smell aroma.
Now add some water like 1 cup to make sure the sauce is still thick and not watery.


Meat Preparation

Use half of the diced onions and rub them well with sprinkled salt and pepper (little bit) and set them aside.
Wash the beef and pat dry them.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the beef.
Add the onions mix to the beef and mix well. Add the cardamom, lime juice and the 7 spices on the beef.

In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the beef mix and stir until it browned.
Add 2 cups of boiling water on the beef.
Adjust salt and pepper (about 3/4 teaspoon but taste to make sure).
Add the bay leaves to the beef in the pot.
Cut the tomato in half and add to the pot.
Cover and lower the heat for 1 hour.

Fattah Assembly

Now take 1/2 tsp minced gralic, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 2 tbsp of the meat broth and 1 tbsp of the tomato sauce and add to the top of the bread pieces in baking dish.
Add the  rice on top of bread pieces and mix it all together.
Add 1 tbsp spoon of meat broth and 1 tbsp of the tomato sauce and mix all together again.

Add one more layer of the rice on the very top and flatten it well.
Slowly add the tomato sauce and spread on the top of the rice.
Add the meat on the top of the rice and enjoy!

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 8.10.20 AM


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