The reason I wanted to make this flat bread is because of this Iraqi co-worker who brought a container-full of Lahmajoun for our Christmas Potluck luncheon a couple of years back. This bread is prominently made and sold in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey where there are restaurants that specialize in lahmacun or lahmajoun. Lahmacun is Turkish and Lahmajoun is Arabic which means dough with meat, is a traditional eastern item of prepared food consisting of a round, thin soft piece of dough topped with spicy sauce and minced meat (most commonly beef and lamb) and straight leaf parsley. Lahmajoun is often served sprinkled with lemon juice and wrapped around vegetables, including pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and parsley, cabbage salad or cilantro.
OK, back to my story. Since she brought them, it's been on my mind. I asked her, searched the web and finally decided to make this for my monthly Pizza club! It is really very very simple and easy. It used our regular pizza dough and takes the toppings of ground meat cooked with spices. I bet you can make it with soy crumbles, grated paneer or tofu for vegetarian version. To me, meat is just the vehicle to carry all the flavourful spices on the bread. I have also made this using pita breads! Just to make my life easy. Simply slice the pita bread so that you can have 2 full breads and proceed with the meat spread and bake. Isn't that simple? These pictures show other variations that I made with same dough as I was playing with recipe.
Pizza dough/pita bread as required
1 lb. minced chicken/lamb( I used lamb)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium cinnamon stick
4-5 pepper corns
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp or to taste cayenne powder
1 each medium red and green peppers, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup diced tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
If using pizza dough, roll out small flatbreads, place them on parchment lined cookie sheet. Keep covered.
On medium heat, heat oil, add cinnamon stick, cloves and pepper corns.
Once they are fragrant, fish them out of oil, discard.
Now add onion and sauté till translucent.
Add tomato paste and peppers and cook till oil separates.
Now add minced meat and diced tomatoes, cumin powder, salt and cook till meat is done. Sprinkle some water and stir often if sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Once the meat is cooked, take off the heat, add parsley and cool down.
Now, preheat the oven to 400° F.
Spread the meat mixture on top of the flat breads and bake till the breads are nice and crispy, for about 15 minutes.
Note: You can make this mixture a day or so ahead so that you only need to make the flatbreads, spread the mixture and bake.
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