Anatolian Meat Snack



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    large lahmacun

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

This ancient Middle Eastern version of pizza makes a tasty snack. It consists of thin bread dough spread with a layer of piquant minced meat, sprinkled with fresh parsley and lemon juice, then rolled up into a cone.


For the dough

  • 1 scant teaspoon dried yeast
  • ¼ pint/150 ml lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 12 oz/350 g strong white flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • a few drops sunflower or olive oil

For the filling

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with salt
  • knob of butter
  • 8 oz/225 g minced lamb
  • 1 tomato, skinned and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 scant teaspoon kırmızı biber
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • small bunch of parsley and mint, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 teaspoons tomato paste


  • Preheat oven to 450F/Mark 8/230C
  • Preheat baking sheets
  • Cream the yeast with the sugar in a little of the lukewarm water until it froths.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and the rest of the water, using your hands to draw in the flour. Add more water, if necessary, to work the mixture into a dough. Knead on a board until the dough becomes pliable. Roll it in a few drops of oil in the base of a bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Prepare the filling. Soften the onion in the butter and stir in the crushed garlic. Put all the other filling ingredients, except the tomato paste, into a bowl, add the onions and garlic, and knead well.
  • Now punch down the risen dough and knead on a lightly floured board. Divide the dough into 2-3 equal pieces and roll each one with a thin rolling pin into a flat round, stretching it with your hands. Place each dough base on an oiled baking sheet or flat earthenware dish and spread with a thin layer of tomato paste, follwed by a thin even layer of the meat mixture, spreading it right to the edges.
  • Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. The dough should still be soft enough to roll up.
  • Squeeze a little lemon juice over the hot lahmacun, sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley and eat flat or rolled up into a cone.