Homemade Turkish 'Lahmacun’

Authentic 'lahmacun' is very thin and crispy. It's eaten piping hot with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprigs of Italian parsley. Photo © Greg-Elms_Getty Images
  • 90 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4-6
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If you’re a fan of Italian-style pizza, you’re sure to love it’s Turkish cousins, ‘pide’ (PEE’-deh) and ‘lahmacun’ (LAH’-MAH’-juhn). ‘Pide’ is most similar to pizza, as it’s topped with cheese and other selected toppings.

‘Lahmacun’ is considered a Turkish street food. It has much thinner dough and doesn’t use cheese in the topping. ‘Lahmacun’ is usually rolled or folded before eating.

‘Lahmacun’ is orginally from the southeastern part of Turkey famous for it’s spicy kebabs and other meat dishes. It's a good example of Turkish regional cuisine. You can find this tasty, spicy treat all over the country in restaurants, cafes and fast food chain restaurants that specialize in ‘lahmacun.’

Many home cooks also successfully prepare ‘lahmacun’ at home using their own mixture of Turkish spices and fresh ingredients.

Here is an easy recipe for homemade ‘lahmacun.’ If you are short on time, you can pass on making the dough yourself by substituting it with a package of fresh, ready-made pizza dough. Then, use the recipe starting at Step 4.

What You'll Need

  • For the Dough:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast (instant dry)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water (warm)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Topping:
  • 12 ounces/350 grams ground beef (70% lean)
  • 1 onion (yellow, finely grated)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (finely grated)
  • 1 cup parsley (Italian variety,  leaves, finely chopped)
  • 2 tomatoes (ripe, finely grated)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (green, finely grated)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (powder)
  • Garnish: lemon wedges, sprigs of Italian parsley, sliced red onion mixed with sumac, sliced tomato

How to Make It

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and salt and combine. Stir the olive oil together with the warm water. Make a pool in the middle of the flour with a spoon and pour the water and oil mixture into it. Blend the flour into the liquid by turning the dry edges into the center.
  2. Flour your working surface and your hands. Turn out the dough and knead it for about 15 minutes until the dough is soft and elastic.
  1. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil inside the mixing bowl and spread it around with your fingers to oil the inside. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover it with a cloth or towel. Leave it in a warm place to rise for 30 to 45 minutes. The dough should rise to about double the size.
  2. While the dough rises, prepare the topping. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Once the dough is risen, turn it out on a floured surface and divide it into six even pieces. Roll out each piece into a very thin round or oval shape. Try to get each one as thin as possible without tearing it.
  4. Spread the topping thinly and evenly over the top of each dough round with your fingers. Don’t press down too hard.
  5. Turn on the top coil broiler function of your oven to the maximum heat setting. Put a large a non-stick cookie into oven to preheat it as well.
  6. When the oven and the cookie sheet are very hot, quickly remove the cookie sheet and place your ‘lahmacun’ on it. Don’t allow them to overlap.
  7. You’ll know they are cooked when the topping is sizzling and the edges get brown. Always check the ‘lahmacun’ as they cook to prevent them from burning.
  8. Serve them piping hot with a wedge of lemon for squeezing and a plate of sliced onions mixed with sumac and sprigs of Italian parsley.