Did you know that lahmacun (pronounced lahmajun) is one of the most popular foods in Turkey? Last summer I had a long layover in Istanbul, and I got to experience so many delicious Turkish foods. Well, as much as I could in one day anyways! Out of all those foods, lahmacun stuck in my head because it was extremely cheap, delicious and filled me up! In Turkey you can find them in shops specializing in lahmacun. They put fresh dough into their hot ovens which can’t be argued with. Who doesn’t love fresh bread? I know I do! But I have to be honest with myself… you won’t find me making fresh bread any time soon. I just don’t have the time!
As soon as I got back home I begged one of my Turkish friends to give me a lesson on how to make lahmacun at home. She told me just what I’d been thinking… most Turkish people don’t actually make lahmacun at home because it is so cheap to buy outside. Leave it to the experts, right? Of course living outside of Turkey takes away that luxury so she had a cheat way of making it at home that cut the time down significantly. The secret? Tortillas!
Yes, this recipe uses small tortillas and although it isn’t freshly baked dough, it is pretty close taste wise! Their small size makes them great for snacks and on the go. I make them often for my husband to take to work for lunch. A slightly spicy mixture of lamb is spread thinly over the tortillas and baked for just a short time in the oven. If you don’t like lamb, beef can be substituted or if you are feeling fancy you can use a mixture of beef and lamb! I keep it pretty spicy because my husband is a fan, but you can omit the cayenne to take down the heat a little.
The best part of all though? These store extremely well. Which is why I’m really looking forward to making a big batch and storing them for easy suhoor breakfast options in Ramadan. Just heat them up in the microwave and BAM! A filling, protein packed meal to help you through a long day of fasting. I don’t know about you, but I have a horrible time waking up to eat suhoor so having these ready to grab and eat has been a lifesaver. I’m thick in the process of making up days from last year. I always say I’ll make them up more quickly but every year I end up making up my days right before Ramadan. I’m such a slacker.
Well, I can’t rave about these enough. These aren’t 100% authentic by any means and I’m sure a Turkish person out there is freaking out that I used tortillas instead of baked bread but ya gotta do what ya gotta do when you are on a time crunch!