I first came across a recipe for Lahamdjo in a Russian cookery book I have. Lahmadjo is actually Armenian in origin (indeed it is sometimes called ‘Armenian Pizza’), but the book includes recipes from several ex-Soviet republics and has some great stuff.
Like the more traditional pizza, Lahmadjo can come in a variety of shapes and sizes and with all sorts of toppings. The one essential is ground meat (typically lamb, beef, or a combination of the two), but, beyond that, almost anything goes, even cheese in some instances. Traditionally, the ‘pizza’ is based on the Armenian unleavened flat-bread known as ‘Lavash’, but many recipes I’ve looked at use a basic pizza-style bread dough. I have even seen tortillas being used as a substitute and, here, I am ‘cheating’ and using the pre-made pizza dough that you can buy in a tube at the supermarket…
- 1 recipe of Dough suitable for a small pizza;
- 1/2lb lean ground Beef;
- ½ cup Red Onion, chopped moderately fine;
- ½ cup Green Pepper, chopped;
- 1 small Tomato, chopped;
- 1 cup chopped fresh Parsley;
- 1 tsp. Salt (I used Garlic Salt);
- 1 tsp. ground Black Pepper;
- 1 Tbsp. Cumin, ground;
- 1 Tbsp. Coriander Seed, ground;
- 1 – 2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes.
First, mix together all the ingredients (except the dough, of course). Allow the mix to sit for about 30 minutes or so to let the flavors blend.
Roll out your dough into one or more rounds (I have made six for this recipe) and then top with a little of the meat mixture by flattening out small balls and pressing it into the dough. I have departed from the traditional a little bit by making my crust thicker than usual. Naturally, you can make as many Lahmadjo as you want from the dough and make them as thick or as thin as you like. Indeed, as I was making these, it occurred to me that you could make ‘cocktail’ size ones using muffin tins…
Pop the Lahmadjo into a 450 degree oven and bake until the dough is browned and the filling is cooked through. In the above picture, mine have been in the oven for about 5 minutes and only a further 5 was required. The length of time will naturally vary depending on the thickness of the dough and filling. You can serve them piping hot from the oven but these are also very nice cold.
BTW, I still had some filling and dough leftover after making the size you see above. I was going to make a ‘Calzone’ type Lahmadjo to finish it up but then I had another idea. If it works out nicely I will share in a follow-up post …