A sort of Middle Eastern “pizza”, Lahmacun is essentially a thin flatbread topped with ground or minced meat (usually lamb) mixed with herbs, onion, garlic and sumac. If you thought pizza was easy, Lahmacun will blow you away with its simplicity. With some dough already to hand you could easily produce 4-5 of these – enough for a family – in half an hour.
Sumac is an ingredient common to Middle Eastern cuisine. It is the ground fruit clusters of its parent plant – also sumac – of which there are many species. Bright red in colour and tart in flavour, sumac is used to provide a lemony and berry-like quality to numerous dishes such as hummus or tabbouleh.
If you are struggling to find a supply of this vivid berry perhaps try your largest supermarket, or any Asian/Turkish markets nearby. It may not have found its way into Western cuisine – yet – but sumac is well worth a purchase if found. Indeed, I’ve been advised that it also works very well in a vinaigrette or marinade for meat.
Makes 2 flatbreads
• two 100g balls of pizza dough
• 150g ground lamb
• 1 small red onion, finely minced
• a small bunch of parsley or mint, very finely chopped
• 1 tbsp sumac
• 1 clove of garlic, minced
• 2 green chillies, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• ½ tsp salt
• a twist of black pepper
• a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan. Thoroughly mix the lamb, onion, herbs, sumac, garlic, chilli, oil, salt and pepper into a paste.
2. Roll out your dough into two thin and roughly-shaped circles. Spread the paste generously on top of the dough and bake on a metal tray or pizza stone for 5-10 minutes until cooked and golden brown. Sprinkle with lemon juice before serving.
Cost: Lamb is a relatively expensive meat, but it can be made to go a long way in this recipe – 150g should set you back no more than around £1.50. In total, these two flatbreads should cost no more than £2.30.