You may call it a Turkish pizza, Armenian pizza, Syrian pizza and Lebanese pizza often when you see some recipes and translated restaurant menus. Unlike pizza, lahmacun doesn’t contain cheese and is mostly topped with perfectly spiced, seasoned ground beef or lamb.
Lahmacun is Turkey’s answer to pizza.
The word ‘flatbread with spicy ground meat’ defines lahmacun better.
It is served hot, right out of the oven and cheese is certainly not on the list of its toppings.
It is a simple 3-ingredient dough, made of flour, water and salt. You don’t need yeast to make this dough as it’s going to be flat and not fluffy. Alternatively a shortcut, you can use pizza dough for this recipe, however I personally prefer to make the dough from scratch to get the authentic texture and flavor.
Also, serve fresh parsley, spices, lemon wedges, a simple onion salad, chopped tomato salad or ezme salad on the side.
I definitely have an obsession with Turkish food.
Years of living in Bahrain and savouring Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food has taught me that nothing elevates a dish better than whole lot of fresh ingredients, perfect spices and herbs. It always works wonderful to be generous with fresh ingredients.
For the dough
3 cups flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon salt
1 and ¼ cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp yogurt( optional)
For the topping
400g ground lamb
2 large onions, finely chopped
½ cup tomatoes, finely chopped
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tsp teaspoon cumin powder
1 tsp all spices
2 tbsp lemon juice or 1 tbsp vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1) Whisk together 3 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
2) Pour water gradually over these and mix with your hand until everything holds together well. It should be a hard dough. You might need to wet your hand a few times when making this dough. Alternatively, you can make the dough in a stand mixer too.
3) Slightly dust the counter with flour and transfer the dough on it. Knead it about 5-7 minutes until you have a smooth dough. Give it a log shape about 14 inches(35cm) length. Cut it into 11 pieces. Roll each of them into a ball and place on a lightly floured surface. Cover them with a piece of damp cloth and let them rest until you prepare the topping.
4) Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
5) Preheat the oven to 450 F/230C. Roll out each piece of dough balls on a floured counter into a thin circle. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can bake two flatbreads in a baking sheet at a time.
6) Spread a thin layer of the topping mixture on it. Make sure all parts including the edges are coated well.
7) Gently press on the mixture so that it sticks on the dough well and spreads evenly. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough balls.
8) Change the aluminium foil or parchment paper as and when required.