Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lahmacun - pizza turca

I recently found Meeta's wonderful blog 'What's for lunch honey', and her monthly event 'Monthly mingle'. Too bad I didn't see the past mingle.. it was 'savory cakes'! How many wonderful savory cakes we have in Italy!! Well, I'll post some recipes for savory cakes later on anyway.. And this monthly mingle's theme is as intriguing: 'Arabian nights'! So the goal is to make some food coming from 'Arabian' countries, very broadly defined. I recently met Elif, one of Lucas's coworker, a very nice girl of Turkish origin, and so I asked her what would be a good original turkish recipe for me to try for this event. She suggested 'Lahmacun', aka 'turkish pizza'. Apparently some people say pizza was invented by Turkish.. so I thought it was actually a nice thing for me to try, since I love making pizza. I found a few recipes online, and the one I finally followed can be found here. I'll report here what I did.

Make pizza dough (see here) using ~2 cups flour, ~1 tsp yeast and 1 1/2 cup water. Oil the surface of the pizza dough while it raises. Prepare the topping: 1) sautee one small onion and 2 garlic cloves in some butter; 2) Grind some lamb meat (supposedly 8 oz). Add 1 tomato, the juice of one lemon, 1/2 cup mint leaves, 1/2 cup parseley leaves, 2 tsp paprika, pepper, salt, and mince everything with the meat. Add the onion and garlic to the mixture. This is the traditional topping. I decided to try also the vegetarian version, which is made with 1 cup feta cheese, 1 egg, 1/4 cup parseley, all blended together. After the dough doubles in volume (~1 hour), devide it into three pieces. Let them rest for another 30 min. Then, roll them down until very thin. Spread a thin layer of meat or of cheese mixture. Cook in the oven at 450 for ~12 min for the meat pizza and ~7 min for the cheese pizza.
I read different ways of serving Lahmacun. Most of the recipes suggested to sprinkle lemon juice, especially on the meat version. Some of them suggested also yogurt. I tried them both and I liked them! It's a very nice dish. I liked the meat version in particular.. definitely not suited for a vegeterian, but the blend of spices, herbs and lemon made it very particular and 'oriental-style'! So, go Lahmacun! Go Turkish pizza! And notice, this is said by an Italian who hates fake American pizza. :)
Visit Meeta's blog for the Monthly mingle roundup.


Meeta K. Wolff said...

I loved the post! This is so perfect. I am already drooling over all the entries and yours reminds me of all the great turkish bakeries we had in Dubai. I used to love this kind of pizza. Thank you so much for your entry and hope to see you regularly at the MM!

Rebecca said...

This recipe looks great-I can't wait to try it! I love your blog-so many new Italian treats-yum!