Although it is called “Turkish Pizza,” this delicious pastry dish is popular in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Armenia, and, of course, Turkey. There are so many versions of this boat-shaped pizza, however in this post, I will be sharing with you all, my husband’s signature recipe, and I do hope you will enjoy making it.
Turkish Pizza is better known as “Lahmacun” in Turkey, and as “Sfeeha” or “Lahm bi Ajeen” in Lebanon. Armenians have a spicier version of this dish, while Jordanians like a milder, meatier interpretation.
My husband’s recipe is extremely delicious and kind of light. Although many recipes out there mix olive oil in with the meat, this recipe is actually oil-free. It also depends a lot on one key secret ingredient that gives these meat pies their unique and distinctive taste, and that is “pomegranate molasses.” To my knowledge, the best kind of pomegranate syrup, known for its sweet and sour flavor, is usually produced in Lebanon, and often comes in medium-sized glass bottles with vintage-style labels.
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of warm water
- 10g dried yeast
- A pinch of salt
- 450gm minced (ground) beef (or lamb)
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses (aka, Dibs Rummaan, or Debs El-Remman)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Salt and pepper
Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Stir in the flour and a pinch of salt, and mix until dough turns into a well-combined ball that is still sticky. Cover the bowl with a moist piece of light-weight cotton cloth, or plastic wrap, and leave for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 240°C (450°F).
Now to the filling. Mix the minced meat with the onions, chopped tomatoes, pomegranate molasses and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands, until dough is smooth and elastic – for about 10 minutes. Roll out into 24 ovals. Spoon some filling into each base, then sprinkle some pine nuts over each piece. Pinch together the two short ends of the dough to form a boat shape. Place the pizzas on a lightly greased baking tray (using olive oil). Bake for 20-30 minutes.
Now, serve with a dab of yogurt, and enjoy these scrumptious pizzas.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s food illustration and recipe… and as the Lebanese would say, “Sahtein o Afyeh” and Bon Appétit!