"This Turkish-style pizza is a Turkish flat bread layered with a fresh sauce composed of tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, and minced lamb cooked with a flavorful selection of Mediterranean spices. It is normally garnished with fresh salad and a creamy garlic sauce and or a tangy zesty hot red pepper sauce. It is a really light meal, but filling and flavorful. I find it worth the time to make if I can't get it from my favorite Turkish bakery in my old neighborhood in Amsterdam. For the best flavor, make the topping the night before you make the pizza." — lysis
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For the Lamb Sauce:
yellow onion, chopped
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh parsley
chopped fresh mint
ground coriander seed
green bell pepper, diced
red bell pepper, diced
roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
lean ground lamb
double concentrated tomato paste
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
For the Dough:
3 1/4 teaspoons
active dry yeast
warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
For the Garlic Sauce:
chopped fresh parsley
salt and ground black pepper to taste
For the Garnish:
shredded green cabbage
shredded red cabbage
LOVED this. It's a real project, that's for sure, but I was expecting it to be. I made the sauce ahead of time, browning the lamb first and draining the fat before adding the other ingredients. The dough was very tight; I think next time I'll add more water. To shape the rounds, I divided the dough in 10 pieces and shaped them into balls. I covered them with plastic wrap and let the balls sit for 10 minutes to relax. Then, I started the round-robin process of flattening them into rounds. At first roll, the dough rounds were about the size of pita bread. It took three or four sessions with the rolling pin, resting in between each workout, to get the dough into a nice thin round like a flour tortilla. I baked them as directed, about two at a time on parchment-lined baking sheets; it took 8 minutes in my oven. (Meanwhile, I kept rolling out other dough rounds.) The breads were a little brittle the first night, but I stacked the rest in between the parchment I baked them on, put them in a zipper bag, and refrigerated them. The leftovers softened up and can be topped and rolled up nicely to bring for lunches. We topped them with shredded red and green cabbage, the yogurt sauce, chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, and harissa. I gave a miserly bite to two of my coworkers, who promptly had to leave the building and go to the nearest gyro place for something similar—it's that good.
If this had taken less time I would have given it 4 stars, but in the end, it just wasn't worth it to me. The main complication with this recipe is that, if you have a large family, you are stuck cooking the entire time while they are eating (because, at least in my oven, I could only bake 2 at a time), and are left by yourself to eat - after all those hours that you spent preparing this!
The bread was delicious, and the meat filling was good. My kids all loved it, even the garlic yogurt sauce; my husband and I thought it was better than ok, but not excellent. Just my two cents! :)
As one who grew up in Istanbul and lived there for 14 years, I must say that this is an excellent recipe.
Two extraneous comments on the recipe:
1) Be wary of how much tomato / tomato paste is used in the recipe as the tomato can easily overwhelm some of the more delicate tastes in sauce.
2) The garlic sauce and cabbage is more of a European addition to the lahmacun (a similar addition is made to Western European renditions of the Doner Kebap). In my experience, lahmacuns are best served with white onions (topped with sumac) and fresh parsley as garnish.
I love lahmacun and usually never put basil but found it to be great. Thank you!
Just think of this as the middle eastern version of (American) Indian tacos...
Sounds fabulous, Lysis - thanks for sharing! I had the pleasure of going to Antalya, Turkey for a conference almost 2 years ago, and after the conference, we did a tour throughout a large portion of this beautiful country! Our tour group had something similar to this at a lakeside cafe, and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to recreate it at home! Thank you, thank you!! I'm rating it 5 stars, because now I know where I went wrong on my first attempt - I didn't add enough mint! My only recommendation would be to add more fresh parsley to the garlic sauce! (And more garlic, but that's just me, I love garlic!)
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! We didn't change a thing! The dough is awesome - just make sure you roll it out really thin! The Turkish we know used to spread out the sauce and meat separate... i might do it that way next time! Thanks for sharing
Excellent dish! The only down side is the large amount time it takes to make.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Lahmacun Turkish Pizza
Serving Size: 1/10 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat: 181
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