Sunday, 27 May 2012

Turkish Pizza: Lahmacun

The problem is, when I have a certain image in my mind of wanting something special to eat, I'm not satisfied, if I get it only in a different way. Did this sound logic or understandable. Or should I say: When I want something, then I want it in certain way, or I am not happy with it. Whatever, forget it.

In the town where I grew up, there was this Turkish food place called „Sivas“ something. They used feta cheese and chillies on their doners and lahmacums. But not often I have found something like this again, if at all. Then you have to do it yourself again.
So, let's try to do our own lahmacun. The word lahmacun come from an old Aramaic expression which means "meat with dough". So that's what we are going to have, more or less.

500 g flour
7 g dried yeast
300 ml lukewarm water
250 g minced meat (lamb or beef)
400 g of tinned tomatoes
one onion finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
oil for frying
salt, paprika, pepper, chili flakes
2-3 handful finely cut iceberg lettuce mixed with lemon and olive oil
200 g sheep (not cheap) feta cheese (nice creamy Turkish one)
some pickled Turkish chillies

Sift the flour into a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and the yeast. Bit by bit add the water and turn all into a nice smooth dough. Maybe you don't have to use all the water. Or you might end up with the dough being too wet. Then you go and add more flour and it is too dry, then you add more water and it gets too wet, then more flour ...
So better be careful in the first place to avoid this back and forth thing. When you finally managed to get the dough right and you didn't use the double amount of flour you can put the dough for rising in a warm place and cover it with a wet kitchen towel and leave it for one hour. 
Meanwhile you can give your attention to the sauce for the pizza. Heat up some oil in a pan and put the garlic into it. You get a nice garlicky smell. If that happens and before the garlic gets black (you definitely don't want that), add the onion to the pan and continue until they get nice and soft.
Then it's time for the minced meat to go into the pan so that you can fry it through. Once that is done, you can pour the tinned tomatoes in. Fill the tin halfway with water and pour it into the sauce as well. Season it properly with all the lovely seasonings you put ready for this dish. Make sure that you get it right. If you know that others don't like to have it spicy and you don't plan to share, make it really spicy. If you are rather nice and sensible, watch your seasoning.
The dough should be ready, at least after 60 minutes! Divide the dough into 6 balls. Using a rolling pin roll them out in a fairly round way to approx. 3 mm thickness. If it's not too round, no worries. 
Spread some of the sauce on each "round" pizza base, leaving a small edge uncovered and make sure you don't put too much sauce on. Spread it just thinly.
Bake it in the oven then at 200°C for approx. 20 minutes or until the edge turns golden or light brown. When the pizza bases come from the oven, it is best to continue to work with them and eat them or if that is not going to happen, keep them warm. You could stack them and then cover them with aluminium foil. Only if you have to. I would eat them right away.
Well then: Give some of the salad onto the pizza, some cubes of sheep feta and three chillies. Finally you can roll it like a wrap (if you got the base right) or if that doesn't work just fold it in the middle (I had to do it last time). Enjoy!!!


  1. I am not sure whether you liked this pizza or not, but for sure it looks very yummy!

    1. I liked it very much, and yes, it was very yummy! Thank you!

  2. What a seriously exotic recipe - nice one :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Thank you! Of course "exotic" depends on the part of the world you are comig from usually. :-)


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