Taste Authentic Egyptian Meat Soup Recipe at Home

Are you ready for a journey through the flavors of Egypt? Join me as we explore one of the most well-known traditional dishes of Egyptian cuisine: Fatta. This dish is a meat soup enriched with rice crispy bread and aromatic spices, that has become a staple in households across Egypt.

Fatta’s name derives from the word “fette”, which means “crushed crumbs” in Arabic. The dish consists of pieces of fresh white rice and meat cubes drowned in a broth, which are then topped with a layer of crispy bread and drizzled with ghee (clarified butter) infused with mastic or other aromatic spices.

This soup recipe is packed with flavor and history, making it a must-try for any lover of Arab cuisine. The deep pot simmering on the stove will transport you to the bustling streets of Cairo, where vendors prepare and sell bowls of Fatta to locals and tourists alike.

In this recipe article, I will guide you through each step of how to make this delicious Egyptian lamb soup. So go ahead, gather your ingredients and let’s cook up some Fatta!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Fatta - Egyptian Meat Soup
Fatta – Egyptian Meat Soup

If you’re looking to add a touch of Egyptian cuisine to your dinner repertoire, you will love this traditional Egyptian meat soup recipe known as Fatta. This flavorful and satisfying dish is a staple of Egyptian food culture and has been enjoyed for generations.

What sets this dish apart from other soup recipes is its combination of textures and flavors. The dish consists of pieces of tender lamb or beef shank, cooked to perfection, served on a bed of crispy bread crumbs made with pita bread, rice, and savory meat broth. The Egyptian Fatta is then topped with a garlic and vinegar tomato sauce that adds tanginess to its complex flavors.

The spices used in this soup also elevate the taste, with mastic being used for its subtle and unique note, along with the earthy bay leaves. Additionally, natural ghee is used to create a deep and rich layer of flavor that perfectly complements the other ingredients.

Fatta is not just a meal but an experience that will transport you to the vibrant streets of Cairo. Home chefs who enjoy trying new exotic culinary experiences or want to learn more about different Arabic foods, will enjoy trying this recipe out.

Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, hosting friends or family for a dinner party or preparing lunch for yourself at home, this Egyptian meat soup brings warmth and comfort that you won’t find anywhere else. The hearty portion sizes are perfect for anyone who enjoys savoring every bite of their meal.

So give Fatta a chance – it’s not just another soup recipe; it’s an authentic taste of Egypt in your kitchen.

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comfort that will warm your soul, Fatta.
A bowl of comfort that will warm your soul, Fatta.

Hello, foodies! Let’s talk about the star of our show – the ingredients! To make this traditional Egyptian meat soup, you will need the following:

  • 2 lbs lamb shanks (or beef shank preferred)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, cut into four parts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup white rice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons natural ghee
  • A pinch of mastic (optional)
  • Pita bread or rice crispy bread for serving

When choosing your lamb, go for the most flavorful parts – the shanks in this case. This is what will give your soup that deep and hearty flavor that everyone loves. Don’t have lamb? Beef shank works too. Garlic cloves and onions are essential in enhancing and balancing flavors, while bay leaves will provide a rich aroma. When buying rice, aim for white rice as it’s commonly used in Egyptian cuisine. The natural ghee we use here is what sets this recipe apart from others. It’s pure and provides a unique aroma to the recipe. And finally, don’t forget to add a pinch of mastic for an authentic sweetness to your dish. Let’s get cooking!

The Recipe How-To

 Step into the vibrant Egyptian culture with a bowl of Fatta.
Step into the vibrant Egyptian culture with a bowl of Fatta.

Step 1: Prepare the Meat

In a deep pot, melt 2 tablespoons of ghee over medium-high heat. Add 2 lbs of lamb meat cubes and brown on all sides for about 10 minutes. Once the lamb is browned, add water until it covers the meat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Let it simmer for 1 hour or until tender.

Step 2: Toast the Rice

While the meat is cooking, rinse 1 cup of white rice several times with cold water until the water runs clear. In a separate pan, add 1 tablespoon of ghee over medium heat. Add in the rinsed rice and stir continuously until lightly toasted and has a nutty aroma.

Step 3: Make the Fatta Layers

Cut four pieces of pita bread into small squares and set aside. In a serving dish or large bowl, place one layer of the toasted bread then spread one layer of the cooked rice over the top. Add another layer of toasted bread then another layer of cooked rice.

Step 4: Pour Over the Broth

Place cooked lamb on top of the layers of bread and rice followed by evenly poured broth/mix over it all.

Step 5: Garnish with Crispy Bread and Tomato Sauce

In a small frying pan, heat olive oil, then cut four more pieces of pita bread into small squares with a pair of scissors for frying crispy bread pieces known as fatta’ir. Fry until crisp then remove from oil onto a paper towel. Add crispy bread over the top then ladle meat broth over this addition, garnish with finely chopped parsley and tomato sauce if preferred.

Enjoy your delicious homemade Egyptian Fatta Soup Recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect blend of spices gives Fatta its unique flavor.
A perfect blend of spices gives Fatta its unique flavor.

For vegetarians or those looking to explore meatless options, you can substitute the lamb meat with cooked chickpeas or tofu. The resulting dish will have a different flavor but still be delicious and hearty.

For those who cannot find some of the ingredients, there are several substitutions you can make. Instead of using mastic, you can use a pinch of anise seed or even fennel seeds. The pita bread for garnish can be substituted with any croutons of your liking. Additionally, if you do not have access to lamb shanks, you can use beef shank instead.

To give your fatta recipe an extra kick, try adding some lemon juice or white vinegar to the broth. This will add a slight sour taste that cuts through the richness of the deep-flavored broth.

Finally, feel free to experiment with the serving method. While fatta is traditionally presented in a deep dish with rice and bread at the bottom topped with the meat and broth mixture, there is no harm in trying a different presentation or pairing it with a side salad or vegetables.

Don’t hesitate to put your own twist on this classic Egyptian recipe! With a few simple substitutions and creative variations, you can make it your own while still preserving its traditional essence.

Serving and Pairing

 The meaty aroma of Fatta will make your mouth water.
The meaty aroma of Fatta will make your mouth water.

Fatta, the Egyptian meat soup recipe, is a hearty and satisfying dish. It’s traditionally served with rice and crispy bread, making for a filling meal. For a more traditional experience, serve it with pita bread, which is perfect for soaking up all of that delicious broth.

Because this dish is quite rich, it pairs well with fresh and light sides. A simple salad with lemon vinaigrette or a plate of sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil can add a refreshing contrast to the savory fatta. You could also serve it with seasoned warm vegetables like roasted carrots or sautéed spinach.

For a more substantial meal, consider serving the fatta alongside other traditional Egyptian dishes like koshari (a mix of rice, lentils, macaroni, and chickpeas) or molokhia (a stew made with jute leaves).

When it comes to beverage pairings, opt for something that can stand up to the bold flavors of the dish. A full-bodied red wine like a Shiraz or Malbec would be perfect. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, try unsweetened hibiscus tea or mint lemonade.

Fatta is a dish that’s meant to be enjoyed with friends and family. So, gather around and savor its flavors together.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Fatta, the savory soup that will make you crave for more.
Fatta, the savory soup that will make you crave for more.

When it comes to making Fatta, the good news is that this traditional Egyptian meat soup recipe can be made ahead of time and stored easily. Whether you’re planning to have guests over or just want to enjoy a comforting bowl of Fatta later, these tips will help you ensure that your soup stays fresh and delicious.

To make ahead: After preparing the dish, let it cool to room temperature before placing it into an airtight container. Refrigerate the contents for up to 3-4 days until you’re ready to serve. Alternatively, you can portion out the soup into individual containers for ease of reheating.

To store: Leftover Fatta can also be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Be sure to label the container with the date so that you don’t forget when it was made.

To reheat: When you’re ready to eat your Fatta, there are several ways to reheat your soup. You can either microwave it in a microwave-safe bowl (stirring occasionally) or place it in a pot over medium heat on the stove (adding additional water if needed). If reheating in a pot on the stove, remember to stir frequently to prevent sticking.

It’s important not to refreeze previously frozen leftovers since doing so can affect the quality of the dish. But with proper storage and reheating techniques, you can safely enjoy your Fatta leftovers for several days after making it.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Enjoy a warm and hearty meal with a bowl of Fatta.
Enjoy a warm and hearty meal with a bowl of Fatta.

If you want to ensure that your Fatta comes out perfectly every time, these tips will help you achieve it.

Firstly, when cooking the lamb or beef shank, make sure to brown it well on all sides. This helps to build flavor and adds a rich caramelization to the broth. Additionally, when simmering the meat in water, add in some garlic cloves and bay leaves for extra depth of flavor.

Secondly, when preparing the rice for your Fatta, use white rice and natural ghee. Ghee is clarified butter with a nutty flavor that pairs well with the meat and broth. Cook the rice until fluffy and tender but still slightly firm.

For an authentic touch to this dish, top it with crispy bread. You can fry thinly sliced pieces of pita bread or use traditional Egyptian bread called “fiteer”. You can also sprinkle some vinegar over the bread before serving for a tangy kick.

Lastly, let your Fatta rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and intensifies the taste of the broth. Serve it hot with some black pepper on top for extra heat.

By following these simple tips, you can create a delicious and authentic Fatta recipe that will have your family and friends asking for seconds!


As a seasoned chef, I recognize that home cooks may have questions about this recipe, especially if they are trying it for the first time. To help ensure that your Fatta turns out perfectly, I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs). Whether you’re curious about ingredient substitutions, cooking methods, or how to store leftovers, this section has got you covered. So let’s dive in!

How to make Egyptian Fatta?

To get started with this recipe, grab a deep pot and melt some butter or ghee on medium-high heat. Once it’s melted, go ahead and add in the mastic pieces and stir until they are fully melted.

Next up, it’s time to add the meat cubes and brown them all over. This step is important for building that delicious, savory flavor.

After the meat is browned, it’s time to add in the bay leaves, sugar, black pepper, and cardamom. Mix everything up well to ensure that all the flavors are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

Last but certainly not least, add in the onions, garlic, tomato, celery, and carrots. These vegetables will add color, nutrients, and depth of flavor to the dish.

What are the ingredients of fattah?

When it comes to the dish, there may be slight variations depending on the individual cook, but the core ingredients remain constant. These include crispy fried bread, white rice, garlic, vinegar, and meat all prepared with natural ghee. Interestingly, the Levantine region offers its own different variations of fattah.

What is fatta?

Fatteh is a popular dish from Egypt and the Levant region, which involves using pieces of flatbread that can be fresh, toasted, grilled, or stale. The bread is then covered with a variety of ingredients depending on the particular region where it is being made. The dish gets its name from the Arabic word “فتّة” which translates to ‘crushed’ or ‘crumbs,’ and is also spelled as fette, fetté, fatta, or fattah.

What is Egyptian soup made of?

In this recipe, we’ll be using the nutritious Molokhia plant to create a flavorful and low-calorie dish. The leaves of the plant are minced, combined with a savory broth, and garnished with flavorful sauteed garlic. This dish is often served alongside rice or pieces of pita bread.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Egyptian meat soup recipe, also known as Fatta or Fattah, is a delicious and comforting dish that combines tender lamb meat, crispy rice, and flavorful broth. With its rich history and cultural significance, the Fatta recipe offers not only a satisfying meal but also a unique glimpse into Egyptian cuisine.

Whether you’re looking to impress dinner guests or simply want to enjoy a hearty bowl of soup on a cold day, this Fatta recipe is sure to please. With easy-to-follow instructions, plenty of room for substitutions and variations, and tips for perfect results, making this Egyptian meat soup has never been easier.

So why not give this traditional Egyptian lamb fattah recipe a try? Not only will you add a new dish to your culinary repertoire, but you’ll also get to experience the flavors and aromas of one of Egypt’s most beloved meals. And who knows? You may even find yourself transported to the bustling streets of Cairo with every spoonful.

Fatta - Egyptian Meat Soup

Fatta - Egyptian Meat Soup Recipe

Traditional soup of the coptic christians of Egypt. The website where I got this from says that nowadays it is eaten all over Egypt and that there are even restaurants specialised in this soup. The number of servings is a guess because it was not mentioned. Submitted for Visit Egypt / NAME forum May 2012.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Egyptian
Servings 8
Calories 287.9 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb, boneless lean
  • 2 medium onions
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 slices bread, roasted


  • Cube lamb into 1 inch cubes and put with 6 cups water into a stock pot.
  • Add onions, salt and pepper to taste and bring to a slow boil.
  • Let simmer for 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender but does not fall apart.
  • While meat is cooking, bring rice with 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon ghee and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Cover and turn heat to lowest, let rice simmer until it is done, ca. 15-20 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon, get meat out of the broth, drain.
  • In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and fry drained meat for some minutes.
  • Take meat out of the skillet and keep warm.
  • Add 1/4 cup ghee to the skillet and let melt at medium heat.
  • Add garlic, fry until lightly coloured.
  • Remove skillet from stove, add vinegar.
  • From here, there are two variations:
  • First, put one slice of roasted bread into large pot. Top with half of the sauteed garlic and half of the rice. Add some broth, then top with second slice of bread and remaining rice. Top with fried meat cubes and remaining garlic. Pour remaining broth on top and garnish with parsley.
  • Second: Combine broth and sauteed garlic, bring to a boil. Tear bread into pieces and add just before serving. Serve soup, rice and meat seperately.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 319gCalories: 287.9kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 13.7gFat: 18.4gSaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 69.9mgSodium: 73.8mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 1.5g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Lamb/Sheep, Meat, Middle Eastern
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