Lamb and Squash Fatteh with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Chickpeas, crunchy pita, and nuts are hallmarks of this dish, which with the help of chef Romy Gill, becomes a family-sized feast.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    3 hours 15 minutes


By Romy Gill

Published on December 28, 2022

Fateh is an intricate and delicious dish meant for sharing. Variations are popular throughout the Middle East, and this Levantine-style version incorporates chickpeas, lamb, crunchy pita chips, sweet winter squash, and a creamy tahini-yogurt sauce which together provide layers of enticing texture and flavor.

I first tasted fatteh In 2011, when I traveled to New York City from the U.K. with my running buddy Adele for our first ever marathon. Later that day, my best friend Reshmi, who lives on Long Island, took us out to eat at a local Middle Eastern restaurant to celebrate our achievements. Since then, I often seek fatteh out when I’m traveling in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Doha and this nourishing and celebratory meal has also become a staple in my own home. Whenever my family and friends get together to eat, my fatteh always makes a splash. Maras biber is a Turkish red chile flake with a fruity flavor and medium heat. Look for it at your local Middle Eastern market or order it online from Kalustyan’s.


For the lamb stew:

  • One 2 lb. 2-oz. bone-in leg of lamb
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • One 15.5-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped parsley leaves, plus more to garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped mint leaves or 1 tsp. dried mint

For the squash and pita chips:

  • One 1½-lb. butternut squash, peeled, cored and sliced ½-in. thick
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium pita breads, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1–2 tsp. ground sumac
  • ½ tsp. Maras biber (Turkish red chile flakes)
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

For the yogurt sauce:

  • 1¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt


Step 1

Position two racks in the oven and preheat to 350º F.

Step 2

To a large pot, add the lamb, salt, and 3½ cups water. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer; cook, skimming to remove any scum that forms along the surface, until the meat is falling off the bone and the liquid has reduced to about 2 cups of rich stock, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

Step 3

Using tongs or a spider skimmer, transfer the lamb and bone to a cutting board. Remove and discard the bone, then pat the meat dry with paper towels and set aside.

Step 4

To a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shallots and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until they are brown and crispy, 5–6 minutes. Add the lamb and sear until lightly browned all over, about 8 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the reserved stock, then remove the pot from heat. Tightly cover with a lid or aluminum foil, then transfer to the oven and cook until the broth has darkened and the meat is very tender, about 1 hour. 

Step 5

Uncover the pan, stir in the chickpeas and 1 teaspoon parsley, then cover again and continue cooking until the chickpeas are very soft, about 40 minutes more.

Step 6

Meanwhile, prepare the squash: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the squash on the baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast until the slices are tender and browned on the edges, 30–35 minutes.

Step 7

On a second large baking sheet, spread the pita pieces. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and set aside.

Step 8

Once the lamb and squash are done, remove from the oven and set aside. Turn the temperature up to 400ºF, then bake the pita, stirring occasionally, until the pieces are golden-brown and crispy, 10–15 minutes.

Step 9

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce: in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest, Season to taste with salt.

Step 10

Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice into bite-sized pieces. Spread the lamb on a large serving platter and drizzle with some of the pan juices. Arrange half the squash slices and chickpeas over the lamb, then top with the pita chips, followed by the remaining squash and chickpeas, and the almonds, pine nuts, mint, parsley, sumac, and Maras biber. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce, scatter pomegranate seeds over the top, and serve warm.

Note: While lamb shanks are the more common cut in traditional Levantine fatteh, I always have a lamb leg in the fridge for curry, so that’s what I used. A bone-in leg will result in a particularly delicious stock, but if a whole leg is unavailable, boneless leg meat is a fine substitute. When using boneless lamb, use only 1 pound 10 ounces meat and 2 cups water.

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