Turkish Lahmacun is a delectable dish that you simply must try if you enjoy Middle Eastern food. Lahmacun is a common dish from Turkey, also referred to as “Turkish pizza.” It’s a thin, savory dough topped with a mouthwatering meat mixture that has been minced, and it comes with fresh vegetables and herbs.
The Arabic origins of the word “Lahmacun” are “lahma” for meat and “ajin” for dough, which stand in for the dish’s main ingredients.
What ingredients are needed for Lahmacun?
The ingredients needed for making Lahmacun, also known as Turkish pizza, are selected to create a well-balanced and flavorful dish. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in contributing to the overall taste and texture of the final product. Here are the key ingredients and their significance:
For the dough:
- All-purpose flour: Provides the base for the Lahmacun dough, giving it structure and texture.
Active dry yeast: Acts as a leavening agent, helping the dough to rise and become light and airy.
- Granulated sugar: Feeds the yeast, aiding in the fermentation process and promoting dough rise.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the dough, bringing out the taste of other ingredients.
- Warm water: Activates the yeast and binds the dough together.
- Olive oil: Adds richness and flavor to the dough, resulting in a tender and tasty crust.
For the meat topping:
- Ground lamb or beef (or a combination of both): Provides the protein-rich main component of the topping, giving Lahmacun its characteristic meaty flavor.
- Onion: Adds sweetness and aroma to the meat mixture.
- Garlic: Infuses the meat with a delicious and aromatic taste.
- Tomato: Gives a pleasant tanginess and juiciness to the meat topping.
- Fresh parsley: Adds freshness and a vibrant green color to the topping, complementing the other flavors.
- Tomato paste: Enhances the tomato flavor and contributes to the overall richness of the topping.
- Red pepper paste (or chili paste): Adds spiciness and depth to the meat mixture, contributing to the signature taste of Lahmacun.
- Ground cumin: Imparts a warm and earthy flavor that is characteristic of Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Paprika: Adds a mild smokiness and a beautiful reddish color to the topping.
- Ground black pepper: Adds a peppery kick to the meat mixture.
- Salt: Balances the flavors and brings out the taste of other seasonings.
- Lemon juice: Provides a refreshing tanginess that complements the richness of the meat topping.
- Fresh vegetables (parsley, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers): Offer a variety of textures and colors, adding freshness and crunch to the dish.
- Pickles: Provide a tangy and slightly sour element that contrasts with the savory meat topping.
- Lemon wedges or pomegranate molasses: Offer additional tanginess and depth of flavor.
- Yogurt: Served as a condiment to complement the Lahmacun and balance its spiciness.
- Sumac (optional): Adds a tangy and slightly citrusy flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.
|Prep time: 1 hour||Bake time: 15 to 20 minutes|
|Rest time: 5 minutes||Serving: 4|
For the dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the meat topping:
- 1/2 lb (250g) ground lamb or beef (you can also use a mixture of both)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large tomato, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red pepper paste (or substitute with chili paste)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt (adjust to taste)
- Juice of half a lemon
1.Prepare the dough:
In a small bowl, mix the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. In a larger mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
Pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Mix well until a smooth dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it’s elastic.
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour until it doubles in size.
2: Prepare the meat topping:
In a separate bowl, combine the ground lamb or beef with the chopped onions, minced garlic, chopped tomatoes, parsley, tomato paste, red pepper paste, ground cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice.
Mix everything thoroughly until all the ingredients are well incorporated. The meat mixture should be well seasoned and full of flavor.
- Preheat the oven
Preheat your oven to 475°F (240°C) and make sure you have a baking sheet or pizza stone ready.
- Divide the dough:
Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air. Divide the dough into small balls, each about the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll out each ball into a thin, round disc on a floured surface. Aim for a thickness of about 1/8 inch (3mm).
- Add the meat topping:
Lay the rolled-out dough discs on the baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread a generous amount of the meat mixture evenly onto each dough disc, leaving a small border around the edges.
- Bake the Lahmacun:
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the Lahmacun for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the dough are golden brown, and the meat topping is cooked and slightly crispy.
After removing the Lahmacun from the oven, allow them to rest for about 5 minutes before serving. This short rest time will allow the flavors to meld together and make them easier to handle.
Turkish Lahmacun is typically served with a variety of fresh toppings and accompaniments.Some popular options include chopped parsley, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, and a drizzle of lemon juice or pomegranate molasses. You can also add a dollop of yogurt or a sprinkle of sumac for an extra burst of flavor.
To eat, simply fold or roll the Lahmacun and enjoy this delicious creation that perfectly balances flavors and textures.
Whether you enjoy Lahmacun as a quick snack or a full meal, its savory taste and aromatic blend of spices will surely leave you craving more. Share this delightful dish with friends and family, and let them experience the rich flavors of Turkey right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Afiyet olsun! (Bon Appétit!)