What is lahmacun
Lahmacun, Lahmajoun or Lahma bi-‘ajin is known as Turkish pizza. Everyone in the Middle East loves the snack, which consists of a thin oval dough base topped with a spicy lamb or ground beef mix.
Lahmacun originates from Southeast Anatolia. It is nomadic food, designed to be quick and easy to make en route and to eat by hand wherever you are. It is street food, old style. Nowadays, it is sold in street stalls in Turkey, but you can find it in Turkish snack bars and restaurants all over Europe.
In present-day Turkey, Sanliurfa is the best city to try lahmacun. Huge ovens are heated every day to bake hundreds of crispy pizzas around lunch time.
The Turkish pizza differs from its Italian cousin on a few notable points: the bottom is thinner, the toppings are applied in a single layer and, most importantly, a Turkish pizza does not contain cheese.
Did you know?
In Europe, Lahmacun is said to be Turkish, but that doesn’t mean everyone agrees. The origin of the Arabian pizza is the subject of heated debate in various countries, including Armenia, Greece, Syria and Lebanon.
How to make lahmacun
A dough of wheat flour, water and yeast is rolled into paper-thin oval pizza bases. These are topped with minced lamb or minced beef, mixed with finely chopped onion, pepper and/or tomato, parsley and spices, such as paprika and/or pul biber. A hefty scoop of the minced meat mixture is spread over the bottom. Then, it’s simply baked in the oven until the bottom and topping are cooked.
Lahmacun only really comes to life when you serve it with fresh parsley or piyaz, a salad of parsley, tomato and onion. The last indispensable element is a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
How to eat
Lahmacun is best eaten in true street food style: rolled up or folded and out of the box.
Are you fond of Turkish minced meat? You should definitely try an Adana kebab.