Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Moving around all the time has one major downside: I keep leaving my friends behind.
So for the fourth time or so, I ended up alone in Berlin, which for many reasons is not much fun, one of them is having to eat by myself. I always feel that these periods of being alone extract all social skills out of me, and after them it always takes time for me to 'get back in the game'.
Luckily, there are a few exceptions, a few newish friends that may keep me from becoming completely a-social. Yair is one of them, and yesterday we had a dinner party to which he invited 6(!) of his friends. I did have some difficulty at start, making conversation, or even introduce myself properly, some of it because I was busy with cooking, but I got a lot better after half an hour or so, and ended up having a good time. Now forget all that, whats interesting about it was that Yair asked me to make Lahmacun, which is a Turkish/Syrian thing and basically translates into 'meat with dough'. It was so good. Really.

For 6 medium sized Lahmacuns (you can make half)


1k White flour.
1/3 Cup canola/sunflower oil.
3 Tbs sugar.
1 Tbs salt.
1 Tbs (pack) dry yeast.


500g Minced Lamb/beef.
2 Medium onions, chopped.
4 Garlic cloves, crushed.
3 Very ripe tomatoes, chopped.
2 Tbs tomato paste.
About half a cup chopped parsley (flat-leaved!).
A few leaves of mint, chopped.
Dry chili.
1 Tsp Cinnamon.
1/2 Tsp sweet paprika.
1/2 Tsp cumin.
2 Cardamom seeds.
1/2 Tbs Sugar.
* You can add pistachios or pine nuts, (they're expensive so I didn't).

Veggie version:

500g Mushrooms.
50g Feta cheese.
1 Cup spinach leaves.
Black pepper.
3 Tbs breadcrumbs.


-Prepare the dough according to focaccia recipe:

Meanwhile prepare the meat:

- In a large pan, heat olive oil, add in the chili, onions, cardamom, paprika and sugar.
- When the onions are soft and slightly brown, add in the garlic, and seconds later the chopped tomatoes.
- Add in the meat, brake it in with a wooden spoon.
- Add cinnamon, cumin and tomato paste.
- When the meat is changes color, add in the parsley and mint, and remove from fire.

Veggie version:

- Heat oven to 200c.
- Drizzle mushrooms with olive oil, and coarse salt. Bake until soft, about 15 minutes.
- Place spinach in a small pot filled with boiling water for about 5 minutes.
- Chop mushrooms, feta and spinach together, add breadcrumbs and a lot of black pepper.

- Preheat oven to 250c.

After the dough doubled it's size, flatten in on an oiled pan, it should be quite thin, thinner than a focaccia. Spread a thin layer of the meat, and bake for about 10 minutes, until very brown.

That's it. Serve with tahini or yogurt.


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  3. The veggie one sounds great! I won't eat lamb, as you know ;), but I'll give the veg version a try. Maybe I'll even blog about it....

  4. Try them both, you can make it with beef instead..