Lahmacun: Turkish Pizza with Spiced Lamb

If you peeked into my fridge right now, you may let out a horrified scream. You would find stacks of jars- pestos, relishes, jams. Some opened, some not. There will be stacks upon stacks of herbs, Of all kinds. It almost looks like a forest in there. 

‘Mom, are there trees growing in our fridge?’ Maryam always manages to say the cutest things. Once, she even commented that the yoghurt was growing ‘a beard.’ Yes, aka mold I’m afraid.

They say if you ever want to know how organised a person is, sneak a look inside their fridge. Mine hides a thousand sins. The clutter, the mess, the chaos and leftovers here and there- a reflection of my life! There may or may not be a mouldy yoghurt pot in there. Or even a pickle that I’ve been meaning to use.

However, I like to find the silver lining in these situations. Fridges like these tend to make the best meals. The best pizzas in particular. Pizzas where you pull out whatever produce you have lying around, the last strands of arugula in the vegetable chiller, a few stray cherry tomatoes, perhaps some crunchy radish even.

As long as there is a good tomato sauce and some kind of cheese, a good pizza is not far from the table. And a good freezer should always have pizza dough. Without a doubt, always. I highly recommend using a pizza stone if you are serious about pizza. It will cook the dough much faster, giving a crisp base without overcooking the toppings.

You can find the recipes for the basic margherita, naan bread pizza with prawns and paneer, pizza bianca with mushrooms and paneer and arabic bread zaatar pizza with chicken on the Spinneys website or in the August issue. 

Lahmacun: Turkish Pizza with Spiced Lamb

Basic dough as below
500 g lamb mince
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper finely chopped
1 onion, minced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
Toasted pine nuts, feta, lemon, parsley sprigs and sliced radish to serve

Prepare dough as above.

In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients from the lamb till the cinnamon powder until well combined, then season. Spread the mixture evenly over the pizza bases and press into the dough gently.

Transfer the pizzas onto the heated pizza stone. Bake the pizza for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crisp, making sure the lamb is cooked through. The pizza will leak some fat/ oil.

Garnish with pine nuts, crumbled feta, lemon juice, parsley sprigs and radish. Serve immediately.

Basic Pizza Dough

230 ml warm water
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
410 g strong white flour
3/4 tsp salt

In a small bowl, mix together the water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy. Once frothy, add olive oil. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Create a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Use your hands to mix and bring the dough together. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease the inside of a bowl with oil and let the dough rise inside, covered with a damp tea towel, for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Dust a work surface with flour and tip out the dough. Divide the portion into 3 equal balls. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough balls to a round circular shape approximately 3-4mm thick. Transfer the pizza bases onto baking paper.

Prep time: 1 hour and 15 minutes including proof time or 20 minutes plus proofing
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Serves/ Makes: 3 pizzas

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