Lahmacun/Turkish Pizza

Servings : Makes 6

This delicious Turkish Pizza is also known in Arabic as Lahm bi’ajeen (meat bread). Some say it is originally Armenian, others say it is of Turkish origins…either way it is one REAAAALLY yummy bread/pizza as anyone who’s had it can attest!

It is basically a very thin base with a thin layer of mince mixed with capsicum, onion, spices, tomato and herbs. The crust is crispy around the edges yet soft and delicate in the middle. They taste awesome with a salad, but I love having these just as they are with loads of lemon squeezed on top. Crunchy crunch yumminess!

Ingredients for Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. oil + 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • water+milk for kneading

Ingredients for Topping

  • 1/4 kg mince (beef/lamb/mutton)
  • 1 onion, minced in a processor until almost a paste (don’t use water)
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 big green pepper, chopped or minced in a processor into tiny pieces
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (optional)
  • 1 tomato, skin removed and then diced into tiny pieces
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • salt to taste (about 1-2 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon


For the Dough

Warm the water with a bit of milk and use enough to knead the rest of the ingredients into a very soft and slightly sticky dough. The softer you get this the better, knead it well. Set it aside for an hour. Once it has risen and doubled, divide the dough into 6 equal portions, form them into balls and place them on a floured surface. Cover and let these sit for about 20 minutes.

In the mean time start preparing your toppings.

Make sure your mince has no extra water by squeezing any excess moisture through a sieve. Heat the butter in a pan, and then fry the onion paste until soft (do NOT brown). Now put the cooked onion in a bowl along with all the other topping ingredients and mix very thoroughly using your hand, making sure to mash everything well so that the mixture is properly combined. Set aside.

Once the balls of dough have rested for 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 190 C and start rolling out one at a time into a VERY THIN pizza shape. It should literally be about 5mm thick. Any thicker and it won’t turn out as good, this is supposed to be thin and crispy. After rolling out each lahmacun, place it on a greased tray. Then rub the surface of the rolled out lahmacun with some olive oil.

Now take some of the mince mixture and press it evenly and thinly on the surface of the lahmacun, make it a very thin flat layer of topping by pressing down with the flat of your fingers. Don’t over-pile the mixture, remember it is raw and putting too much will make it difficult to cook. You can place 2 lahmacuns per baking tray. Bake the lahmacuns for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are crisp and golden and the mince is dry and cooked, use the grill option of your oven during the last few minutes if you have it to speed the cooking of the topping.

Serve them hot from the oven with lots of lemon squeezed on top and a salad on the side. It’s like having this yummy spicy mince mixture on top of a cracker!!

You can store these in the fridge for a day or the freezer for a week or two, make sure you wrap them up well with cling film. Do not heat these in the micro, they will lose their crispiness, you can cut them up and heat the pieces in a toaster or heat them whole in the oven for about 3-5 minutes.



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