History of Lahmacun

Lahmacun means ‘meat and kneaded dough’ in Arabic, and the dish itself actually dates way back. Nearly 5000 years ago, Babylonians used to cook a basic version of today’s lahmacun. It is still cooked extensively in the eastern regions of Turkey. It is still cooked in stone ovens, just as it used to be. 

Ingredients of Lahmacun and Recipe

To prepare it, the first step is to prepare the dough. After preparing the dough, which consists only of flour, water, and salt, the toppings consist of minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. After all these stages, lahmacun is thrown into the stone oven, and when it comes out of the oven, it is eaten with lemon and parsley. The ingredients are: 

  • Minced meat

  • Onions 

  • Tomatoes 

  • Parsley

  • Garlic

  • Tomato paste

  • Black pepper

  • Oil

  • Pepper

  • Red pepper 

However, the way of making and the content of lahmacun may differ from region to region. In addition to all these, ones that are not only made of meat are an option for vegan or vegetarian visitors. Vegan lahmacun does not contain meat or animal ingredients and is usually made from ground soy or lentils. 

The way you would normally cook it is in a stone oven with an open wood fire. It cooks extremely fast as the oven is always heated. The time-consuming part is kneading the dough and spreading it in a circle, just like a pizza. We should underline that lahmacun dough is much thinner and crunchier than pizza dough. After the dough is ready, you put the minced meat in the middle and put it in the oven. Also, lahmacun is eaten as a wrap. The way you do it is by putting shredded lettuce, onions, and tomatoes in the middle of it and then wrapping it with a squeeze of lemon. 

Homeland of Lahmacun

Discussions about the place where lahmacun is the most famous among the cities in Turkey continue, but the first place that comes to mind when it comes to Turkish-style pizza, is, of course, Şanlıurfa. In addition, Şanlıurfa lahmacun was registered by the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office and received a geographical indication. The most important feature that distinguishes Şanlıurfa lahmacun from others is that the meat used is special meat. 

In addition to Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep's lahmacun is also famous. It is known that the onion lahmacun belongs to Şanlıurfa, while the garlic lahmacun belongs to Gaziantep. In addition to Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep, lahmacun, called fındık lahmacun belonging to Mersin province, is quite famous and is frequently consumed. The feature of hazelnut lahmacun is small in size and served as an aperitif before the meal. Its recipe is not much different from normal lahmacun.

Types of Lahmacun

Spicy Lahmacun: This is heavily spiced and flavored lahmacun of the Şanlıurfa region of Turkey. 

Vegetarian Lahmacun: We told you it is an option, a delicious one indeed. You can easily find one in the vegetarian restaurants in Kadıköy.

Fındık Lahmacun: It is a tiny version of normal lahmacun originating in the Mersin region.

Lahmacun with Cheese: Nowadays, they put cheese in and on top of everything but believe us, this one is truly delicious.

Where to Eat Lahmacun in Istanbul

You can see lahmacun halls on almost every street in Turkey, but we will talk about a few restaurants that make the best lahmacun. For example, Borsam taşfırın in Kadıköy, Kadıköy Ruhha, Halil lahmacun, Istanbul lahmacun and kebab shop in Beykoz,Çıtır Pide Lahmacun in Beşiktaş, Öz Kilis Lahmacun in Fatih, Kilisli Omer Usta in Ataşehir and Buket Lahmacun in Mecidiyeköy are among the best. In addition, lahmacun is street food and is sold by street vendors. You can also try vegan lahmacun in the shop called Veganarsist in Kadıköy. In addition, families in Turkey usually prepare the mortar and give it to the ovens to cook, and this has become a tradition.

Frequently Asked Question

What does lahmacun mean in Turkish?
In Turkish, lahmacun means meat and dough.
Is lahmacun Turkish or Arabic?
The word lahmacun comes from Arabic, derived from “lahma bi’ajeen”
Who created lahmajun?
Turkish regions Gaziantep and Sanliurfa are the first places that lahmacun emerged.
What is Middle Eastern pizza called?
The middle eastern pizza is called lahmacun as they are the same concept with different toppings.
What country is lahmacun from?
Lahmacun is from Turkey, although it is definitely influenced by Arab countries as well.