Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Tuesday, April 04, 2006



1 package Original Tortillas (Flat Bread, 10 pieces)

500 gr lean ground beef or lamb
2 medium onions
1 cup parsley
1 tbsp red pepper paste
2 large tomatoes, seeds discarded
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove
1 tsp salt

Use a mixer to chop and mix all the ingredients except the ground beef. Then knead it with the ground beef. Refrigerate for an hour, then leave it outside for 20 minutes.

Set the oven to grill (broil). Have two oven trays ready. Take some mixture with the spatula and apply on the flat bread evenly as a thin layer. Place two per oven tray and put the trays on the second rack from the top in the oven. Bake for about 3-4 minutes, making sure not to burn the edges of the pitas.

Place a paper towel at the bottom of a large pot. Fold the cooked Lahmacun in half and put them in the pot to keep them warm with the lid closed. When all are baked, serve with the Side Salad for Kebabs and Ayran while they're still warm. Season the Lahmacun with sumac or lemon juice and red pepper flakes.

Sumac comes from the berries of a wild bush which grows in the Mediterranean. The berries are dried and crushed to form purple-red powder. The flavor is sour and fruity. It's mostly used with Kebabs, preferred to lemon for sourness.

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At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I was craving lahmacun earlier this week and checked your site a little too early. :o) I spent a semester Marmara Universitesi'de and really miss the food from Istanbul. You can't imagine how much I appreciate your website. Tesekkurler, Binnur hanim!

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks delicious. yummy.

I missed lahmacun too. It has been almost a year since I last visited Turkey and ate lahmacun.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Olga,
I am glad that I posted Lahmacun today:) If there is anything else that you miss that I don't have on the site, please let me know and I can post it:)
Ben tesekkur ederim, sevgilerimle

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Obur Kedi,
It's also been a long time since I had
authentic Lahmacun in Turkey. But when I miss it, I just do my own version of it... it's worth it:)

At 4:10 PM, Blogger BETUL said...

In my first attempt, I can not say "caramelised" like the chefs here, I simply burned them. Next time I know where to look. Thanks Binnur..

At 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

Once again, you have outdone yourself. This recipe is as authentic as it gets but I was wondering if you have a recipe for the Red Pepper Paste which gives Lahmacun its uniquie flavor. If you do post the Red Pepper Paste recipe, would you please specify the variety of the red pepper I should use? If I can not find red sivri biber, should I substitute red bell peppers?

Thank you in advance for your efforets.

Gulacti B...

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Gulacti,
Thank you for your kind comment:)
Yes, actually I have a recipe for
Red Pepper Paste. I am going to post it for you asap. I use any kind of red pepper to do it. Every
kind works fine while we are far far away from our homeland:)

At 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
Is it possible to do the lahmacun base on our own? I am not sure if the tortillas I have here will do the job. Do you have a recipe for that as well?

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Burgundy,
Last week I posted Turkish Ramadan Pide
You can use the same dough to make Lahmacun. For the regular size
lahmacun cut the dough in 4 pieces instead of 2. Knead and give a ball shape to each, cover with a
damp towel, and put aside for about 15 minutes. Then roll with a
roller to flatten each one.
Spread the ground beef mixture all over.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the tray on the middle rack. Bake for
about 10 minutes.

At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend was skeptical as to whether or not this would taste like the real thing.... he was pleasantly surprised!! This was great!!! I felt that I was eating the real thing, and it was very easy to make.... quick and easy! Cok tesekkur ederiz Binnur Hanim!!!

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sevgili Ayse,
I am so glad that you liked Lahmacun. I make it very often because it
is pretty close to real and very easy to make:)
Ellerine saglik, kendine iyi bak:)

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur!

I am American and married to a wonderful Turkish man. One of his favorite dishes and one that he misses so much from him homeland is Lahmacun. I'm so glad I found your site. I made it and it was delicious! My husband loved it. I have a question ~ I used pita bread and it sort of worked but I noticed that the meat mixture was very juicy and the juices made the pita bread soft/soggy in some places as it cooked. I used lamb. Any suggestions as to what I did incorrectly? Thank you so much for your site. In this way I am learning to make wonderful Turkish food!

Thank you ~

Lissa Turkoglu

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lissa,
I prefer to use Original Tortillas because of the problem you had with pita bread. This time you may use Tortillas. If you like to use pita bread, I would suggest that you use less amount of tomato which makes the pita soggy.

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! This was just like back at home. I'll definitely put a bit more red pepper paste (good old Akcay made) next time to spice it up a bit. The way I avoided the sogginess was to put the mix in to a caulinder while it was sitting in the fridge and by the time the hour was up, all the excess juices were drained out. Thanks alot for this recipe!!!!!!!!!!


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ayhan,
You're very welcome:) I am glad you liked it and thank you for the tip:)

At 1:10 PM, Blogger orhan celik said...

many many thanks. made lahmacun again today after they were a success yesterday and they tasted just like the real thing. discovered your site 3 days ago and i love it.made the yala soup which was also great.once again thank you from your new found friend orhan from London

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur,You said you posted a recipe for red pepper paste.I looked in all
the categories of food but didnt see it.Can you post it again or direct me to the page?Thanks so much for all the great recipes.
I have passed this great website on to others.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Rosemary,
Here is the address for Red Pepper Paste;

On the site, below the google ads on the right, there's a search box. So you
can search on my site if "TC" is selected, it will help you to find any
recipe that I posted.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
What about using yufka instead of tortilla? The dough of the lahmacun I've eaten so far resemble yufka dough more than tortilla though... Never made lahmacun myself though.

Love your site, keep up the good work ;)


At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I meant "tortilla dough" not "though" :)


At 6:32 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Elisa,
Thank you:) Using Pide dough instead of yufka dough would be better:) This recipe will help you;

At 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't try this before yet but i think that the dough tastes different because I don't think that a mexican tortilla tastes the same as the dough that people use for turkish pizza

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

This is the easy version of Lahmacun...give it a try, you will like it:)

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

when you make the topping does it have to be uncooked before you put it on the base or do u need to cook it

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

The topping should be uncooked before you put it on the flat bread then you will cook it.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried this today and it is pretty close to the original.I grilled one side of the tortillas before I put the mixture on the other side and grill it, and added green peppers to the mixture.It was really good this way.I have baby twins and a toddler and I also have to study so don't have much time to prepare time consuming meals.I need quick and easy recipes and I find many of them in this site . Thanks!

At 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you would make this using the dough of Ramadan pide you are going to say Wov!
Let me give you the secret of making lahmacun just like ones those you've eaten in restaurants, and that is; while preheating the oven put your cookie sheet inside as well.Then arrange the lahmacuns on the parchment paper and put it on the HOT cookie sheet (that's the important part, if you don't do this, you can't have the perfect result and be careful while doing this) which is in the oven.Then cook it.This way they would taste like exactly the same real lahmacun .Actually..maybe even better, because you made it !!

At 1:18 PM, Blogger CraftyJeweler said...

Aw man...Lahmacun. That takes me back! I am going to have to try this. Now if only I can figure out how to make iskender...

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Erika,
I've already posted Iskender recipe. Check out the Kebabs section:)

At 10:59 AM, Blogger Lillette said...

Have just tried your recipe for Lahmacun and it was delicious. I added crushed walnuts and used minced lamb instead of beef. I also used your recipe for pepper paste, as we cant get it in Scotland. Only 2 things missing now. ISTANBUL AND MY TURKISH BOYFRIEND. Tesekkur Ederim. X

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous gaynor bailey said...

I have just got bck from Turkey (Alanya) I had Osmani Kebab (Dont know if I spelt that right) have you got the receipe for this please.
I love it.

At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi this is a favourite amongst my kids. So simple and quick to make. Love these recipes, keep them coming.

At 3:13 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Binnur,

Thanks for your site I use it all the time to cook for my Turkish husband. Unfortunately we are in Australia and I have a hard time finding some of the ingredients. I can't find red pepper paste ANYWHERE. Do you know of a good substitution for it? I saw that you posted a recipe to make it, but don't have the tools to do it. If you could suggest a substitution that would be great. Thanks!

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

I think you can find Red Pepper Past (Kirmizi Biber Salcasi) in the Mediterranean or Middle eastern stores under the same name.
Or, you can find some Turkish ingredients at Turk Market Online Store (Australia & New Zealand) which is Turkish on line store.
You only need any kind of red pepper to make a Red Pepper Paste. You don't need any tools for it:)

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur, thank you so, so, so much! I haven't had Lachmacun in 2 years after we moved away from Germany (and all the amazing Doner Shops!)! I never found any recipe satisfying, as most use tomatoe paste instead of the pepper paste (which definitely determines the Lachmacun to be a hit of flop in my eyes!).
For those of you having difficulties finding red pepper paste, here in California (and in Germany), Middle Eastern Stores often carry AJVAR in jars...
Thanks again, Binnur!

At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Binnur. I tried this recipe today. It was delicious .

At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Ayhan said...

Hi Binnur,

What type of bread are you using in the picture of the lahmacun?
I've tried several types, but they are always either too thick or too thin.



At 9:15 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ayhan,
I indicated that what kind of bread I use in the recipe:)

At 1:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ,

I will be making lahmacun for a guest. Can I make them on thuesday and serve them the next day? How do I store them? are they going to be still tasty? How do I reheat them? Also can I make my own tortillas from mexican tortilla flours and use it as dough. is it going to taste the same. Thank you

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

They should be baked and served immediately otherwise the taste will not be the same. If you want to make your own dough give it a try:)
Take care,

At 8:10 AM, Anonymous Marc said...

Hi Binnur, I moved from Green Lanes in North London to the West Country where decent Turkish restaurants are hard to find. Now with your recipes I can finally have (/make) some great tasting authentic Turkish food. Cheers!!

I'd love to see a chilli sauce recipe!

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

This is quite an easy recipe, and I was wondering if I could prepare the meat, put it on the bread and freeze it - can I do that? And if I can, would I need to thaw it before I throw it in the oven?


At 9:38 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Almila,
Probably you can...give it a try:)

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this recipe i usually buy this ready from the butcher but this is so much better homemade always is (not to mention cheaper) keep those recipes coming and again thanks Em Omar

At 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my favorite Turkish dish, therefore my question,should I mix a mixture from onions,peppers etc with a raw or a cooked meat:)?thx

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

All the filling (mixture)ingredients are raw. They will be cooked in the oven:)

At 6:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK.thank you for your instant answer! I hope 4 minutes will suffice to cook my meat.Im really thrilled about preparing it.Will put a thin layer on my tortilla. Thanks again!

At 5:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

which type of flat bread do you use, if there is atime when you don't make your own dough? :) I tried tortillas and those just don't provide the same taste as home.



At 11:36 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Ayhan,
I use Original Tortillas as I indicated in the recipe:)
Take care,

At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur Since in my country common knowledge about preparing Lahmacun dont involve yeast in the dough I started to ponder if this is correct.I checked vernacular recipies on the net and they dont provide yeast. Have you ever came across lahmacun that was made out of yufka?Or this would be an entirely different dish?Iam somewhat confused in this matter since lahmacun I tried tasted like thin pizza so I suppose had yeast in them...?greetings:)

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sorry but I don't have experience to make lahmacun with yufka.
We use the Lahmacun dough with yeast in it:)
Take care,

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba. I am going to make this right now but don't have any tomatoes left. Can I substitute with crushed tomatoes for now?

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Tomato should not be replaced with crushed tomato in this recipe:)

At 2:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur, we made your lahmacun recepy tonight and it was so easy and tasted as close as it can be even though it was a home made none pro attempt. So I like to thank you a lot as I no longer have to go to London to have lahmacun . Wonderful recepy. Torttilla was a great replacement for making a dough xxx

At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot find pepper paste: could I just add chopped raw sweet Italian pepper to the mixture?

At 11:37 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Sure, you can:)

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Leah S said...

I was introduced to lahmacun on my deployment to Adana four years ago. My whole family loves it, as well as your chicken tava recipe. Thanks for bringing back great memories of my trip!

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Antz said...

Im not sure what part of Australia Danielle lives but salça can be found quıte readılıy even ın Coles ın the world food sectıon
here ın Australıa our "quıck" lahmacun recipe is to use Lebanese bread that they use for Doner Kebabs here , i tried tortilla , but the flavour wasnt quite right ( must be the corn ) whereas the Lebanese bread doesn't do that


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