This thin, delicious Turkish pizza called lahmacun is the ultimate street food in Turkey that we all love. A very popular lunch time snack, lahmacun is sold in street stalls as well as in restaurants at home. In Kebab houses, mini lahmacuns are served as an appetizer that I just can’t get enough. We Turks also love to have it as a take away food, a great, healthy alternative to fast food and the children love them too. Lemon is liberally squeezed over and then it is rolled up with sliced tomatoes, onion and parsley salad, piyaz.
Lahmacun, thin Turkish pizza with ground lamb topping is one of our favorites and can also be served as a main dish paired with wine. I am often asked which wine pairs with Turkish food best. Since lamb is the main ingredient here, the best wine to match it with is red. M&S Wine expert Belinda Kleinig says, “Chateau Tour d’Auron is a really supple Merlot, which is a perfect partner to cook with lamb leg steak.” The wine’s fresh taste of raspberries, crab apples, plums, and apple complement the lamb’s flavor very well; could be a lovely match for lahmacun.
Here is my lahmacun recipe; hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time – 45 minutes (+1 hour rest for the dough) Cooking time – 20 minutes
5 ml/ 1 teaspoon active dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
150 ml/ 2/3 cup lukewarm water
350 gr/3 cups strong white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mild olive oil
15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
225gr / 8oz ground lean lamb
15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste
5ml/1 teaspoon paprika flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F
First make the dough. Place the sugar and the yeast in a small bowl with half the lukewarm water. Set aside for about 15 minutes until frothy.
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the creamed yeast and the rest of the lukewarm water. Using your hand, draw in the flour and work with the mixture to dough, adding more water if necessary.
Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic. Drip a few drops of olive oil into the base of the bowl and roll the dough in it. This will help the dough not to dry up. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough gets ready, prepare the topping. Lightly soften the onions in the olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt to taste and set aside to cool. Put the ground lamb in a bowl and add the tomato paste, parsley, paprika flakes, lemon juice, cooked onions and tomato. Season with salt and pepper and work this mixture into a paste with your hands. Cover and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
Once the dough doubled in size, punch down the risen dough, knead it on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin flat round, stretching the dough with your hands as you roll. Oil the baking sheets and place the dough rounds on them and spread a thin layer of the meat mixture covering the edges too. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the meat is nicely cooked.
Serve lahmacun hot, with lemon wedges to squeeze over by the side.