Lahmacun Lahm bi ajeen

Lahm bi Ajeen: Levantine meat pizza

Everybody who has ever been to a Turkish restaurant or snack bar for dinner knows Lahmacun these days. But actually only a few people know the name Lahm bi Ajeen, who didn’t visit the Levantine countries by chance or have their roots there. It’s time to change that.

If we have Manakeesh, then there is usually also Lahm bi Ajeen. That’s great on the one hand because I really love both of them incredibly. On the other hand, it’s a big choice. I always calculate: “Okay, I can definitely eat three pieces. How do I divide it up? Two pieces with meat and one with Za’atar? Or the other way around? Or maybe I can make a fourth one after all? Maybe one of my siblings will share with me?” You already realize that these are absolute luxury problems 😀

The difference between Lahmacun and Lahm bi Ajeen

Let’s get back to the name. The names both mean the same thing: meat with dough. Lahm means meat and bi Ajeen means with dough. And believe me, you can’t get more meat on dough. That’s why I sometimes call it the Levant’s burgers. In Lahmacun, the Turkish variant, the meat is rather sparsely sown and the dough is much thinner and is usually rolled up for eating. Lahm bi Ajeen is simply folded up. Speaking of the differences: Lahmacun usually includes paprika, whereas Lahm Ajeen only comes with tomatoes. At least the way I know them. But both variants are definitely delicious.

Treat yourself with a pizza stone

By the way, I bought a pizza stone especially for this recipe. My mother uses her ominous aluminium oven, which seems to exist in every Lebanese household. I would like to have it too, but unfortunately I haven’t seen a single one to buy. Therefore: pizza stone!

Of course it works without a pizza stone, but then the crust is not so fluffy and yet crispy. So if you have a little more money, treat yourself to such a stone.

For Lahm bi Ajeen we have…

When you finally have it on your plate (by the way, in Lebanon they don’t say “bi” and say Lahm Ajeen directly), refine your minced pizza with some fresh lemon juice and simply fold it up. As a side dish I always serve some fresh yoghurt and some gherkins.

Please try the recipe and leave me a comment on how you liked it.

By the way: You also should try Sfiha.

Recipe for Lahm bi Ajeen

Lahmacun Lahm bi ajeen

Lahm bi ajeen

Levantine meat pizza
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 Piece

Equipment

  • Pizza stone

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 500 g Flour
  • 7 g Dry yeast
  • 200 ml Water
  • 100 ml Milk
  • 50 ml Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt

Meat mixture

  • 500 g Minced beef
  • 1 Onion
  • 1,5 Tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1,5 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Pomegranate syrup
  • Pepper

Instructions

For the dough

  • Dissolve sugar in water and then stir in dry yeast and leave to rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Mix salt and flour together.
  • Add yeast mixture to the flour and knead.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 20 minutes to an elastic dough.
  • Let the dough rise covered at room temperature for about 90 minutes.

For the meat mixture

  • Peel and finely chop the onion.
  • Finely dice the tomatoes.
  • Mix all ingredients together well and season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.

Prepare Lahm bi Ajeen

    Preparation with pizza stone

    • Preheat the oven with pizza stone to 250 °C. The stone should be heated for at least 30 minutes.
    • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and let it rise again for about 10 minutes.
    • Roll out the dough pieces and spread the meat mixture on top. That would be about 2 tablespoons each. Please use your hands to spread the meat mixture, this works better.
    • Place Lahm bi Ajeen on the hot pizza stone and bake for about 7 – 10 minutes.

    Preparation without pizza stone

    • Preheat oven to 250 °C.
    • Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and let it rise again for about 10 minutes.
    • Roll out the dough pieces and spread the meat mixture on top. That would be about 2 tablespoons each. Please use your hands to spread the meat mixture, this works better.
    • Place Lahm bi Ajeen on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes.
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