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Tag Archives | lahmacun

Piyaz Salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley and sumac

Piyaz Salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley and sumac

Piyaz Salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley and sumac

We had a delicious Turkish cookery class at the Divertimenti Cookery School in London on Jan. 29th with enthusiastic participants. This vibrant and easy Piyaz Salad with red onions, tomatoes and parsley, flavored with sumac was a big hit from the class. It is a traditional salad at home, especially popular alongside Turkish meatballs, Kofte, as well as Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with minced meat and vegetables topping. I love the tangy sumac with the red onions in this salad, gives a refreshing, zingy flavor, so delicious.

Rolling Piyaz Salad inside Lahmacun, delicious

Rolling Piyaz Salad inside Lahmacun, delicious

We also made Lahmacun, thin Turkish pizza with minced/ground meat topping at our Turkish cookery class – another big hit! – We then placed some Piyaz Salad in the middle of Lahmacun and rolled to eat, as we do it traditionally at home. Such a wonderful combination. Here’s my Lahmacun recipe, if you like to make it at home.

Wonderful participants of my Jan. 29th Turkish Cookery Class at Divertimenti Cookery School, London.

Wonderful participants of my Jan. 29th Turkish Cookery Class at Divertimenti Cookery School, London.

This delicious Piyaz salad along with 90 other authentic, healthy, delicious Turkish recipes are included at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland. Signed copies of my cookery book can be purchased at this link.

Ozlem’s Turkish Table; Recipes from My Homeland – can be purchased at this link (signed copies!)

I hope you enjoy this easy, delicious, healthy Piyaz Salad, Afiyet Olsun,


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Piyaz Salad with red onions, tomatoes, parsley and sumac
This vibrant and healthy Piyaz Salad gets ready in no time and it is so delicious. Red onions and tomatoes work very well with the tangy sumac; we tradionally enjoy this salad with Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with minced/ground meat topping, as well as Turkish meatballs. It is also a lovely salad served with cheese, olives and hummus.
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Turkish Cuisine
Serves: 4
  • 3 medium tomatoes, quartered and roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 15ml/1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ml/2 teaspoon ground sumac
  • ½ teaspoon paprika flakes – optional –
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Rub and work sumac and the salt into the onion slices with your hands really well (this will soften the onions and help spices infuse in well).
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, parsley and paprika flakes, combine well.
  3. Wisk together the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and pour over the piyaz salad. Season with more salt (if needed) and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Serve Piyaz Salad with feta cheese, olives and/or hummus for a delicious spread. Piyaz Salad is also the ultimate accompaniment of Lahmacun and Turkish meatballs, kofte.


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Lahmacun; Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

Lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, onion and tomato topping

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.

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

Dough ingredients:

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

Topping ingredients:

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.

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

Mini lahmacuns; mini Turkish pizzas with ground meat and vegetables topping

 Afiyet Olsun,

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Lamb Kebabs with Pistachios on Flat Bread, served with Roasted Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes – Create Delicious Kebabs in Your Home!

Lamb kebabs with pistachios and roasted vegetables - the ultimate feast for family and friends.

Have you had a chance to try the Kebab Houses – Kebapci – in Turkey? They appear in every corner and the smells, never ending array of mezzes and kebabs coming along are a feast to all senses, a must experience. Here are a few photos from the kebab scene at home, in Turkey, to help set the mood:

An Ocakbasi kebab house in Istanbul, where the ustas, masters prepare succulent kebabs in front of you.

Usta, master of kebab makers, work around the Ocakbasi – an open fire grill – and prepare the melt-in-the mouth kebabs and grilled vegetables in front of you – so tempting!

Piyaz salad of onions, tomatoes with sumac, hummus with pastrami are amongst the delicious mezzes await you at the kebab houses.

As soon as you arrive to the Kebab Houses in Turkey, you are greeted with array of mezzes; Warm hummus with Turkish dried beef sausages or pastrami (dried cured beef) on top,  Piyaz salad of onions, tomatoes, parsley with a sumac dressing , Gavurdagi Salata of tomatoes, onions and walnuts with pomegranate dressing and many more. They are delicious and you need to pace yourself, otherwise you will be full before the main event of kebabs arrives!

Lahmacun ustas at work; wonderful to watch, delicious to eat the end result.

And here is the lahmacun ustas, masters at work; shaping their own dough and topping with ground lamb, onion, tomatoes and herbs. With a squeeze of lemon over the top, this is the ultimate lunch or a gorgeous starter for me. You can make your own lahmacun, Turkish thin pizza with ground lamb, tomatoes and onion topping at home; always a favorite with children and guests.

Scrumptious Iskender Kebab - who can resist?

Iskender Kebab is another specialty offered at the Kebab Houses in Turkey; at the bottom is the freshly baked flat bread, topped with a spread of tomato sauce. Then comes the slices of doner kebab, topped with the melted butter sauce, with plain yoghurt by the side. This kebab is a feast, and one of the most popular in Turkey – who can resist?

Gaziantep Pistachios - Antep Fistigi; for me the best in the world.

Well, if you can’t make it to the Turkish kebab houses at the moment, the kebabs may come to you. They are easy to recreate in your home, delicious and look impressive. Children love them as well as the adults, so they are great for entertaining. I recently had a go at the lamb kebabs with pistachios in it. Turkey, especially the Gaziantep region grows some of the finest pistachios in the world and they are regarded as “Edible Emeralds”. The pistachios appear in sweet and savory dishes in Gaziantep cuisine from baklavas to kebabs. Please try the Gaziantep pistachios – Antep Fistigi; they are a must purchase whenever I am back home.

Vakkas usta cutting the meat fresh with Zirh knife for the kebabs; photo credit

 In Gaziantep, minced (ground meat) is prepared by chopping it into the size of wheat grains with a special curved bladed knife called Zirh. Hand chopped meat has a lot more flavor than machine minced (ground) meat, because the meat does not lose its texture. Check out how Vakkas Usta cuts the meat fresh for each kebab depending on the customers preferences, at IstanbulEats.

Lamb kebabs with pistachios; easy to recreate in your home, delicious and impressive.

Having pistachio nuts in kebabs is a Southern Turkish specialty; I love the rich nutty flavor the pistachios add to the kebabs. The kebabs are wonderful when chargrilled in the barbecue  in summer time, but equally delicious grilled in the oven. With flat breads as the base and roasted vegetables by the side, this succulent kebab is a real crowd pleaser, and can make any day special. The refreshing Yoghurt and cucumber dip, Cacik, complements the kebab very well.

 Serves 4

Preparation time: 35 minutes                           Cooking time: 50 minutes

For the kebabs:

500 gr/1 ¼ lb/ 2 ¼ cups ground lamb (or a ground meat of your choice, or a mixture)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

60ml/4 tbsp pistachios, shelled

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

5ml/1 tsp red pepper or paprika flakes; kirmizi biber

5ml/ 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

A bowl of water with a drizzle of olive oil to help shape the kebabs

For the roasted vegetables:

3 colorful bell peppers, deseeded and cut in thick slices lengthways and a few chilli peppers deseeded, OR 10-12 sweet and chilli small, colorful peppers, cut in half lengthways and deseeded

4 medium tomatoes, halved and cut in chunky slices

1 medium onion, halved and cut in chunky slices

45ml/ 3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 large flat bread; pide, or 4 pitta bread, sliced lengthways

Yoghurt and cucumber dip with dried mint, Cacik (give link) to serve

Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F

Peppers, onions and tomatoes, ready to go in the oven.

 First roast your vegetables. Place the onion, peppers and tomatoes in a baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil over, season with salt and pepper. Give them all a good mix to make sure all the vegetables are coated with olive oil and the seasoning. Bake in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes, giving them a mix half way. I like to roast the vegetables rather than grilling, to save and enjoy all the wonderful juices of them over the flat bread.

Pistachios add a rich, nutty taste to the lamb kebabs.

While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the kebabs. First have a bowl of water, drizzled with olive oil ready aside, to knead and help shape the kebabs into the skewers. Pulse the shelled pistachios in a food processor a few times, until it is grainy. Place the ground lamb in a bowl, stir in the pistachios, chopped onions, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and ground pepper, add the red pepper / paprika flakes. Wet your hands in the water & olive oil mixture and knead well to a smooth paste. Cover and rest for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are roasted in the oven.

Roasted vegetables ready to complement the kebabs - make sure to save the juices to drizzle over the flat bread.

Once the vegetables chargrilled, take the tray out of the oven, cover  and set aside (you may need to warm the vegetables before serving).

Put the grill into its highest setting and start shaping the kebabs. With the bowl of water & olive oil mixture by your side, take a handful of the meat mixture, and press it around grilling skewer into a shape of a flat sausage. Wet your hands with the water & olive oil mixture; this will help shaping the meat into the skewers, keep the meat moist and intact.

Place the sliced flat bread on a tray under the kebabs, when they are half way cooked.

As soon as the kebabs are shaped, cook them under the grill/broiler for about 4 minutes or until they are golden and cooked through that side. Then place the sliced flat bread or pitta bread on a tray and put the tray under the grill, at the bottom of the kebabs. Turn the kebabs and cook for a further 3-4 minutes or until they are golden on the other side too. In the meantime, the flat breads will capture all the wonderful juices of the kebab.

Also at this stage place the roasted vegetables back to the oven to keep warm.

Lamb kebabs with pistachios and roasted vegetables, ready to enjoy.

Once the kebabs are cooked, prepare your serving tray. Put the grilled, warm flat bread slices side by side on the tray. Place the kebab skewers in the middle and the roasted vegetables at each side, making sure their wonderful juice also make it to the tray. Serve this delicious kebab with the Yoghurt and cucumber dip, Cacik, by the side.

Wishing You All Joy, Peace & Health and Afiyet Olsun,



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