Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza) : IHCC

"Pies and Tarts", our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), where we are cooking from our featured chef, Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes. This week is all about pies, tarts, galettes and anything with some kind of crust!

I have been planning to make a savoury pie of Ottolenghi for the past few days, and this pizza was what I made on that very morning that I planned to make the pie. The switch came about, as I was browsing thru Ottolenghi's website, looking for recipes for the coming week's themes, when I found this pizza recipe, and decided to make this pizza instead, since I have all the ingredients. And I am glad that I've made the switch!

Adding the salsa salad over pizza is so good! You gotta try this!

The dough is very easy to make, just mix the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes. The dough is then left to rise until doubled in size. It is then divided into either 4 large or 12 small rolls, I made them into 12 individual servings. Roll them into thin discs, brush both sides lightly with olive oil and keep aside for 15 minutes or so, until they have risen a little.

The filling is made up of minced beef, which I have replaced with minced chicken, marinated with ground cinnamon, ground allspice, red chilli flakes, chopped fresh parsley, pomegranate molasses which I have replaced with pomegranate concentrate, sumac, and some salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients together and keep in the fridge until needed.

To make the salad, mix the chopped cucumbers (remove the soft centered seeds), chopped tomatoes, finely chopped onions, chopped fresh parsley (I have used corianders). Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 

The slightly risen discs are then spread with Tahini (I use my Homemade Tahini), topped with the chicken filling, scatter some pine nuts over the top, and bake for 12-15 minutes. From the recipe, it says to use 3 tablespoons of Tahini, which is too little for me, imagine dividing 3 tablespoons for 12 small pizzas, that is 1/4 tablespoon each! I have however used more than that, did not measure, but just spread the paste on the dough until I am satisfied! Haha! In all, I've used up all my Tahini which is about 1/3 cup.

Even though Ottolenghi suggested to bake the pastry until just done, I have baked the full 15 minutes until they are browned as I love brown crust.  

Freshly baked Lahmacun, it may look all brown and boring, but the filling is so tasty! Can you see the tahini on the crust, a change from the regular tomato pizza sauce. This is very good!

Top with the salad and enjoy! We sure did!

This is one delicious pizza!  The chicken filling is so tasty, and it has all the Mediterranean flavours, a bite into it would make you instantly think of Mediterranean! The blend of spices used including a new one which I've only just started using, Sumac, is just so wonderful. I'm so glad I've discovered Sumac!
The pizza crust has a delightful light crunch, with a bread-like texture in the centre. 
And eating the pizza with salad topping is something new to me, and I love it! If you try out this recipe, make the salad, it really takes this Turkish Pizza to a whole new level!

Even my kids do not mind that their pizzas has got no cheese at all, they would usually request for more cheese for the topping, but for this, they love eating the salad over the pizza!  

I bought this spice Sumac a few weeks ago, and this is the first time I'm using it, looking forward to use it more often.

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza with Spicy Minced Beef and Salad Topping)
(adapted from : Ottolenghi)
Ingredients :
Topping :
250gm minced beef (I used chicken)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
25gm flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I used coriander)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (I use pomegranate concentrate)
1-1/2 tbsp sumac
25gm pine nuts
3 tbsp tahini (I used about 1/3 cup)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Dough :
250gm white flour, plus extra to dust (I use bread flour)
1-1/2 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tbsp salt (I use 1 tsp)
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
60ml sunflower oil (I use canola oil)
1 medium egg
100ml lukewarm water
olive oil for brushing

Salad (optional)
1 mini-cucumber, cut into 1cm dice (190gm)
2 small tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice (150gm)
10 radishes, thinly sliced (75gm) (omitted this)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (65gm)
10gm parsley, roughly chopped (I use coriander)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

Method :
Makes 4 large or 12 small snack size pizzas

Start with the dough. Put the flour, milk powder, salt, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add the sunflower oil and egg and stir as you add the water. When the dough comes together, remove it from the bowl and knead lightly for 3 minutes on your work surface until smooth, elastic and uniform. Dust a bowl lightly with flour, place the dough inside, brush with some olive oil, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1 hour, at which point the dough should have almost doubled.
(I place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over the dough so the oiled surface is up, cover bowl with cling wrap).

Put all of the topping ingredients in a large bowl, apart from the tahini, pine nuts and lemon juice. Mix well with your hands and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 210C and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.

Divide the risen dough into 40gm balls, you should get about 12, and roll each into a thin disc, about 2mm thick and 15cm in diameter. Brush each disc lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on the baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

If you make the salad, mix together the vegetables and add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir gently and set aside.

Spread the tahini onto each pastry disc, divide the filling between the pastries and spread it evenly so it covers the dough fully. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked. You want to make sure the pastry is just baked, not over-baked; the topping can be slightly pink inside and the pastry golden when you look underneath. Remove from the oven, spoon the salad on top, if making, and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice. (I did not bother with the drizzle of lemon juice).

IHCC Ottolenghi Leek
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Please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view what my friends have made for this week's theme, "Pies and Tarts", and if you are interested to join us, please find out more details from IHCC.

And I'm sharing this with :

Ms. enPlace


  1. Dear Joyce, These mini pizzas look absolutely delicious. I know I would enjoy them thoroughly. Many blessings, your friend, Catherine xo

  2. Excellent and mouthwatering pizza. Never knew that there is a Turkish twist in Pizza. Delicious preparation.

  3. My husband's favourite and Turkish pizza is probably the only pizza he will eat because it contains no cheese.

  4. Turkish pizza that serve with salad topping instead of cheese, cool! This is a healthy version of pizza!

  5. Se ve muy rico me encanta sin queso,saludos y abrazos

  6. Oh, Joyce, I'm definitely making this! I still need to get sumac, but when I do...look out! This will be the first thing I try.

    Thanks for linking!

  7. this looks simply amazing - LOVE the ingredients - the pizza looks a triumph!
    mary x

  8. Hi Joyce,

    This kind of non-Italian pizza with pomegranate does sounds pretty usual to me! And I like it!!!


  9. I've brought myself a plate here to try your pizza! So we call Turkish pizza as "Lahmacun?" Yummy Lahmacun!

  10. I love all the different toppings you tried!

  11. Lovely pizza and great toppings!!!! too bad my oven can't make a nice and crispy pizza :(

  12. Lovely pizza! Never had turkish pizza before, the bread seems very unique too.

  13. Weiiiii I have been looking for Sumac... since yesterday! where did you get yours?

  14. Looks good, Joyce! Certainly a nice change from the usual Italian pizza :)

  15. Interesting Turkish pizza ... what is the difference in taste?

  16. Hi Joyce,
    Your Turkish pizza sure looks amazing!!
    Love the tahini spread. Thanks for sharing your homemade version:)

  17. Thats a gorgeous and droolworthy pizza..

  18. Hi Joyce .. my kids love pizza anyway you slice it ... this is a must make ... thanks for sharing :)

  19. Where to get tahini and sumac here? Me very suaku when it comes to looking for ingredients lol! Your pizza looks healthy and delicious!

    1. Hi Jeannie,
      You can buy Tahini from most organic shops, but if you are up to it, make your own, so much cheaper. You may refer to my previous post, link below, how to make your own Tahini. Very easy.
      I bought the Sumac from Mid-Valley, the same floor as Cold Storage. The stall is situated along the walk-way near to Cold Storage, not in the centre, but along the sides (along the wall sides). The stall sells Middle Eastern dried nuts and dried fruits. There's some makan stalls in front of it. Hope you can find it.
      This pizza is healthy and delicious, give it a try.
      Link to my homemade tahini :

  20. Joyce, these little pizzas look stunning - I think that was a great decision making the small individual ones instead of larger ones. Pleased you're enjoying using the sumac - it's one of my favourite ingredients. Very impressed that you used your own tahini on these, and I really love the idea of the salad on top. Can't wait to give these a try.

  21. Joyce, your pizzas look amazing! With all of those spices, pomegranate molasses, tahini and especially that salad, these must have tasted very exotic and delicious.

  22. Oh my...this looks heavenly! I have never noticed this recipe before, but I am pinning it because I absolutely need to make it. You are right, using the tahini in place of pizza crust is unique and I'm quite sure it is delicious. I love every single thing about this recipe (especially the pine nut topping). Just delicious!

  23. I love little pizzas and I adore the idea of the tahini as the pizza sauce too. Yum! ;-)

  24. Oh yum! I want to eat it now! Love the salad topping it all off & I am a big fan of sumac so I will definitely be trying this one sometime soon! Thanks for sharing :)