Love world-wide popular lahmacun aka Turkish pizza? Flatbread topped with spicy ground meat and veggies? These Mini Lahmacuns are mini versions of it with a much softer crust. They make a perfect appetizer!
Origin Of Turkish Lahmacun
This is one of the most popular traditional Turkish fast food. It’s originally from an Eastern city of Turkey, Sanliurfa. Now you can find lahmacun restaurants all around the country and not surprisingly, the owners of almost all these restaurants are from Sanliurfa. And generally they serve lahmacun only, not any other dishes. As people from this small city love hot pepper, the original lahmacun is too hot for the people in the West of Turkey to eat. Then they decided to serve two versions of lahmacun in their restaurants in this part of the country: with and without hot pepper. In these restaurants, there are also red pepper flakes in small bowls on each table. If you aren’t sure whether you can eat hot lahmacun or not, you can order one without pepper and when it comes to table, you can sprinkle red pepper flakes according to your taste.
Types Of Lahmajun
The shape of lahmacun may change depending on its region. Originally, classic lahmacun is so thin with a crispy texture and as big as a serving plate. It may be either round or oval in shape. However, in the region of Mersin, there is a very small version of lahmacun. It is called fındık lahmacun because of its small size. Findik lahmacun is a term used in other parts of the country to differentiate between two versions. Findik (fındık) means hazelnut and this word is generally used to show how small something is. This lahmacun is as small as a saucer and I find it cuter than the big one. And unlike the big version, findik lahmacun is not crispy as it’s not that thin. I do love both versions, but this small one is more advisable to make at home. You can eat it with a big pleasure even the following day as it’s still soft. However, the big and thin ones are better eaten once they are cooked.
Cultural Background Of Mini Lahmacuns
In Mersin (A Southern city of Turkey) and its small towns like Tarsus, there are special bakeries just for cooking lahmacun in stone ovens. Women prepare the topping mixture at their homes and generally their husbands take the mixture to such a bakery and ask when it will be ready. They come back to take the cooked lahmacuns at the time he is given. He pays the money and leaves a few of them to bakery people. As you see, this is an easy way of making lahmacun, you just prepare the topping and the rest of the work is done for you at bakeries. However, if you’re not living in that part of Turkey, but still want to make findik lahmacun, you’ll find its recipe below. This is again a recipe from mom. I learnt this recipe as a child as we used to make lahmacun together at the weekends.
Serve As An Appetizer
Even though the origin of findik lahmacun is Tarsus/Mersin, it’s now served in most restaurants in big cities, but not as a main dish. Because of its small size, people generally have it as an appetizer while waiting for their order. As a person who knows the original version, I must say that these small appetizers are not completely the same as the original one. They are as crispy as big lahmacun whereas the original findik lahmacun has a softer texture as I explained above. While there are six to ten findik lahmacuns in a portion in Tarsus, restaurants in other cities serve one or two before the main dish.
Different From Pizza
You may find that lahmacun looks like a pizza, but there is a big difference between them. A pizza is sliced and it can be eaten with a knife and fork while you don’t need knife or fork to eat lahmacun. Put some parsley leaves, squeeze lemon, wrap it and it’s ready to eat. Although it is served sliced in some restaurants today, it’s not the right style to eat lahmacun. I think this shows an inevitable effect of some international dishes on local dishes.
How To Make Mini Lahmacuns
- First, prepare the yeast. Mix the yeast with warm water in a small bowl and wait until you see foams.
- Put the flour in a mixing bowl and pour the yeast in the center. Mix them together using a fork.
- Then, add in milk, olive oil and salt. Knead it until you have a soft dough. If the water is not enough, add little more. It shouldn’t be too sticky.
- Now, put the dough in a bowl, cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the topping mixture. Mix the ground beef with all the topping ingredients.
- Now, assemble the dough and the topping. Pick small pieces from the dough and roll them out one by one as big as a saucer. They mustn’t be too thin. Place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Divide the topping mixture on these evenly pressing on them with your hand. And cook them for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with some parsley leaves and lemon wedges.
We put a few parsley leaves on it, squeeze lemon on it and fold it to eat.
Other Turkish Recipes
- Homemade Pide With Ground Beef
- Turkish Street Food Simit Recipe
- Börek Recipe
- Homemade Easy Baklava Recipe
- Perfect Turkish Meatballs
Mini pizza like flat breads topped with ground beef
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 42 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Turkish
For its dough:
- 1 and ½ teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 and ½ cup water
- 4 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
For its topping
- 300g ground beef
- 3 medium size tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 bunch of parsley, minced
- 1 big onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Extra oil for the baking sheet
- Mix the yeast with warm water in a glass and wait until you see foams on its top.
- Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil in its center. Stir them together.
- Knead it to have a soft dough. If the water is not enough, add little more. And wet your hand every now and then when kneading. When everything holds together after about 5 minutes, it's ready to rise.
- Give it a ball shape. Put in the bow. Slightly dampen its top with a wet hand. Cover it with a clean tea towel or plastic wrap and wait for 40-45 minutes.
- When the dough is doubled in size, transfer it onto a floured surface. Knead it by folding the edges into the center to have a smooth dough.
- Roll it into a log and pick walnut sized pieces from the dough and roll them out one by one as big as a saucer. They mustn’t be too thin.
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Brush the baking sheet with olive oil and place each round piece on it. Let them sit there for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile you can prepare the topping mixture. Mix the ground beef with all the remaining topping ingredients.
- Put about 1 tablespoon of the topping mixture on the round dough pieces evenly. And bake them for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with some parsley leaves and lemon wedges.
Keywords: lahmacun, flat bread, turkish lahmacun, mini lahmajun