Lahmacun, lahmajun, or lahmejun (Turkish: Lahmacun), (Armenian լահմաջուն lahmaǰun or լահմաջո lahmaǰo), from Arabic: لحم بعجين, lahm bi’ajīn, “meat with dough”, is a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (most commonly beef and lamb) and minced vegetables and herbs including onions, tomatoes and parsley, then baked. Lahmacun is often served sprinkled with lemon juice and wrapped around vegetables, including pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and roasted eggplant; a typical variants may be found employing kebab meat or sauces. – Wikipedia.
My take on Lahmacun comes from memories of my childhood when my parents, brother and I used to make home-made Lahmacun by using leftover pitta bread. It was a joyous occasion that has always been kept with me as a memory I cherish. My father would be the one preparing the mince meat, my mother the one placing them in the hot oven or under the grill and my brother and I picking our toppings! So as a childhood memory I decided to make Lahmacun using pitta bread again but my own take incorporating different spices and herbs to enhance the flavor. I definitely recommend making this with your children! And as you wont be making your own dough, it also saves time and creates more time to have some fun while cooking!
- Handful of fresh parsley
- 50g butter
- 1 onion
- 1 tomato (peeled – refer to Cooking Tips)
- 5-6 pitta breads (sliced in half – refer to Cooking Tips)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chilli flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried mint
- Olive oil
- 1 tbsp. tomato puree/paste
- 1/2 Ib mince meat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius
- Start by finely chopping your fresh parsley and placing into a large bowl along with your mince meat.
- Next finely chop your onion and garlic (you can blitz them if you have a fine blender). Then using a large frying pan, melt your butter on medium heat and fry your onions and garlic till soft. Lower heat and cover to soften the onions more. Leave for approx. 5mins.
- Then place the onions and garlic also into the bowl with the mince meat and parsley.
- After, peel your tomato (for peeling tomato method refer to Cooking Tips) and finely dice into small pieces and add into the same bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
- At this stage add the tomato puree and your spices and herbs so your cumin, chilli flakes, dried mint, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and add in your lemon juice until well cooperated with rest of the ingredients.
- Next prepare your pitta bread by slicing each pitta bread into half (refer to Cooking Tips).
- Using some olive oil, lightly brush some onto each pitta bread slice and start adding your mince meat onto the bread!
- Place into prepared baking tray and cook in hot oven for 10-15mins until the edges of the pitta bread and mince meat have browned.
- Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh salad!
- Note: after making my Lahmacun if I had to change something it would be to chop the fresh parsley more smaller.
I served my Lahmacun with boiled black-eyed beans with Swiss chard drenched in olive oil and vinegar, fresh parsley salad (featured in above picture), Turkish noodle rice, fresh lemon, olive and for the daring, cooking kidneys.
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