Recipe courtesy of Tarik Fallous 

Fattet Battenjen

Fattet Batenjain translates to eggplant crumble and is a classic Lebanese dish made throughout the country with various twists. The dish is unique, delicious, healthy and vegetarian! Plus, it can be served as an entree or appetizer. It can also be prepared with lamb or shredded chicken instead of eggplant.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min (includes salting time)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

Fried Eggplant:

2 pounds eggplant (about 4 medium)

1 tablespoon sea salt 

2 cups vegetable oil 

Tahini Yogurt Garlic Sauce:

4 cups whole yogurt

2 tablespoons tahini 

1 lemon, juiced  

3 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste 

1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses  

1 teaspoon sea salt 

The Layers:

2 pita loafs, cut in about 1-inch equal squares and toasted

2 cups chickpeas with liquid from the can 

1 teaspoon sea salt  

1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus a pinch 

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped 

1 teaspoon paprika 

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds 

2 tablespoons sundried cranberries 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 

2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 

3 to 4 mint leaves, for garnish (optional) 

Directions

  1. For the eggplant: Remove the tops from the eggplants and slice them the long way into 1-inch slices. Rub the sea salt on the flesh sides of each eggplant and place them into a strainer on top of a large bowl. Let them sit for an hour in a cool place.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes, all about the same size so that they will cook evenly.  
  3. Heat the oil in a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer. Line a plate with paper towels. 
  4. Carefully drop one piece of eggplant into the oil, and when it starts to sizzle, add a few more handfuls. Working in batches, fry the eggplant until they are golden and crispy, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the fried eggplant to the paper-towel-lined plate. 
  5. For the tahini yogurt garlic sauce: Whisk the yogurt in a large bowl until smooth. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, pomegranate molasses and sea salt and whisk until combined and smooth.  
  6. For the layers: Lay the toasted pita chips on a platter, top with the chickpeas and sprinkle with the salt and cumin. Top with the fried eggplant, then pour over the yogurt sauce and top with the parsley. Sprinkle over the paprika, pomegranate seeds and cranberries. Top with the melted butter and toasted pine nuts. Garnish with mint leaves if using and serve.