By Sara Mae Danish | April 16, 2013

Middle Eastern Pizza

Traditional pizza gets a spicy and ethnic kick served with a side of tabouleh.

On a trip to Turkey last summer I fell in love with Lahmacun- a sort of thin-crust pizza that is light and crisp with sizzling broiled minced beef or lamb. Obsessed with this delicious delight, I searched the web for a recipe that would bring me back to my very first bite.

To my surprise, I learned that variations of lahmacun exist within Middle Eastern and Southwest Asian cuisines. Whether you call it lahmacun, laham bajine or laham bi ajeen, the same principles remain: dough and minced red meat. The recipe I’ve posted incorporates my favorite parts of each region’s recipe, resulting in something that is balanced and exciting in flavor and texture.

The pizzas can be served with a variety of sides, but it goes best with tabouleh — a spritely salad of parsley, tomato, cucumbers and bulgur.

middle eastern, lamb, cumin, ethnic, pizza

Middle Eastern pizza served with sides and wedges of lime.

For more recipes by Sara Mae Danish:

Deconstructed Salade Nicoise

Tuna with Pasta

For the meat:
  • 1 lb minced beef or lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ red onion, finely minced
  • ½ jalapeńo, seeded and finely minced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and finely minced
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • the juice of 1 lime
For the dough:
  • 5 cups pizza or AP flour
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. yeast


1. Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Mix all the ingredients except for water together on low.

2. Add the water and mix on low speed. Mix until the dough has come together to form one ball (about 5 minutes).

3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and keep in a dark warm place for 1 hour.

4. Cut the dough into fourths and cut each fourth into fourths

5. Roll out the cut dough into 6”x6” ‘circles’. They don’t have to be perfect.

6. Heat a griddle or large pan on medium-high heat and cook each dough circle on low for a minute on each side. Reserve all the par-cooked dough.

7. Combine all ingredients for meat mixture and mix well with your hands.

8. Spread the meat mixture on the par-cooked dough and broil for 10 minutes or until the meat is nicely charred.

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