This thin, crispy Turkish pizza, lahmacun is the ultimate street food in Turkey. A very popular lunch time snack, lahmacun is sold in street stalls as well as in restaurants. In Kebab houses, mini lahmacuns are served as an appetizer that I can’t get enough. We Turks also love to have it as a take away food, a great, healthy alternative to fast food, the children love them too. Lemon is liberally squeezed over and then it is rolled up with sliced tomatoes, onion and parsley salad, piyaz.
Flour Tortillas work very well as a mini lahmacun base if you can’t get around making your own dough. We had girls’ night in last Friday, and I used tortillas as a base for the lahmacun since I had limited time. They were ready in a flash and everyone really enjoyed it. Wonderful food for entertaining; highly recommended!
Serves 4 – 6
Preparation time – 45 minutes (add 1 hour rest for dough if you choose to make it)
If using flour tortillas; Prep time: 25 minutes 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
6 pieces of Flour Tortillas
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 or beef
15ml/1 tablespoon tomato paste
5ml/1 teaspoon paprika flakes
Juice of 1 lemon
Piyaz (Sliced tomatoes, onion and parsley salad with herbs) ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
15ml/1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
5ml/1 teaspoon ground sumac – optional-
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika flakes – optional –
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F
Making 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.
Preparing the lahmacun 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 meat 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.
If you are making the dough; 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.
If you are using fresh flour tortillas as a base, spread a thin layer of the meat mixture over the Flour Tortillas and leave to rest for a couple of minutes. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until brown and crispy.
For the piyaz; work sumac and the salt into the onion slices with your hands really well. Combine with the chopped tomatoes, parsley and paprika flakes. Wisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the piyaz. Season with salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve lahmacun immediately with the piyaz, with lemon wedges to squeeze over by the side.
I am passionate about sharing authentic Turkish recipes from my homeland, including flat breads with toppings as in Pide, savoury pastries, mezzes, vegetables cooked in olive oil, regional specialties and more – all included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies of my cookery book can be purhased at this link, Afiyet Olsun.