Thursday 12 April 2007


It's funny how you can look through a recipe book almost endlessly and feel like you know it back to front and inside out and then, unexpectedly, stumble upon a recipe that you just hadn't noticed before. Last year I did just that and discovered lahmacun in 'How to be a Domestic Goddess'. Maybe I hadn't noticed it before then because I had been scared of yeast but, once I had made some bread and pizzas, I was finally ready to spy the recipe for these little spicy flatbread pizzas. I tried them, and I made them again and again and again. Then, one day, I had been to the shops and had bought all of the necessary ingredients for the lahmacun but when I got home I realised that I was tired and didn't really feel up to kneading dough to make dinner. The lamb mince went into a bowl with all of the spices for the lahmacun, got squooshed together with my hands, and formed into little burgers to be cooked in the oven before being sliced and stuffed into pitta breads with garlicky yoghurt dolloped on top and a little salad. We had these for dinner on Tuesday and I tried to take a photo, I really did, but some things sound and taste a lot better than they look so I'll just have to leave you to imagine these.

This is the amount that I make for 2. If we're being greedy it makes two stuffed pittas each, but we have (once) had leftovers and they make a good sandwich the next day as well. One word of warning, the garlicky yoghurt becomes very pungent the next day. I took leftovers to work and every time someone opened the fridge there was a waft (some might say a reek) of spicy lamb and garlic.

500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp of cumin
Large pinch of allspice
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato puree

1 small pot of greek yoghurt mixed with one minced garlic clove and some sea salt

A few salad leaves

Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl and, using your hands, combine all of the ingredients until well mixed. Divide into eight equal sized pieces and shape them into patties before putting them into an ovenproof dish. Bake at about 200°C for 20 minutes, turning once to brown all over. Once the burgers are cooked, warm through one pitta per person, slice up a burger or two to put into the bread, dollop some of the yoghurt on top, add some salad leaves, and eat.


Kathryn said...

These sound good, Gemma! I love lamb in pitta:).

Shame about the pic - I know what you mean though about some food tasting better than it looks!

Kathryn x

Gemma said...

I would definitely recommend giving thema shot Kathryn - our other favourite is lamb mince with garlic, cumin and coriander.

Gemma x

Anonymous said...

Hi Gemma - I made these for a barbecue this afternoon and they went down a treat! Great recipe. Thanks for sharing it! George