Armenian pizza, alternatively known as Lahmajoon, is a pizza-like meat pie that is quite popular and beloved dish in Armenia and abroad. Here is basic information on this Armenian Pizza and its recipe if you want to try!
Armenian cuisine is ranked as one of the most impressive and delicious things that tourists are offered to explore in Armenia and, hence, make their visit even more unforgettable. It has unique and sometimes spicy flavors.
In general, it is very important for Armenians that aside from the taste of the food, it should be extremely healthy as well. Here we will introduce you the delicious Armenian pizza, called Lahmajoon that will definitely interest you.
The Origin of the Armenian Pizza, Lahmajoon
Lahmajoon is basically a round, thin baked pancake with meat topping (mostly it is beef or lamb). It is most commonly garnished with vegetables and herbs, such as onions, tomatoes, variety kinds of spices, including pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, etc.
This can be served both as an appetizer and as an excellent meal. The word “lahmajoon” itself gives us a hint of what it represents as from the Lebanese translation “lahm” means meat and “ajin” means dough. It is also spelled as: lahmajun, lahmajoun.
Due to its form and shape, that is very similar to the original pizza and sometimes reminds of it, Lahmajoon is also famous as “Armenian Pizza” in some countries. The origin of Lahmajoon goes back to the early Levantine cuisine of the Syrians, where the essential ingredients of the dish included a piece of dough topped with minced meat.
Lahmajoon was quite popular dish in many Middle Eastern countries. And, today it is immensely popular and beloved dish in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and in some other countries as well.
Furthermore, the basic Lahmajoon recipe is being improvised in the cuisines of these countries and every country has its unique variation of this tasty dish.
We can surly say that Lahmajoon has attained global recognition due to the Armenian restaurants spread all over that serve this dish.
Besides, most of the tourists that visit Armenia fall in love with the Armenian cuisine and some of them stress that the Armenian pizza stands out for them with its amazing smell, taste and flavor and becomes their all-time favorite Armenian dish.
Lahmajoon: The Armenian Recipe
Want to prepare for yourself some delicious Armenian pizza? Then here you can find the recipe of Armenian Lahmajoon. Here we go!
Mix dough ingredients together, allow it to stand approximately 5 minutes. Then turn it into a bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm location until it will be doubled in size, wait for about 2 to 3 hours. Flour the surface, form dough into 12 equal pieces and shape it into balls.
Separate each ball in half, place them on the baking sheet and let rest about 20 minutes. Meanwhile prepare topping. In a medium bowl, mix all the topping ingredients. The consistency should be pasty. Divide meat mixture into 12 portions.
Take 2 pieces of dough and roll until they get very thin. Then lightly flour a large baking sheet and place the round dough on it. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and bake them for 15 to 20 minutes, until beef is no longer pink.
To serve, drizzle with lemon juice or just place some lemon wedges and fold it into quarters, so that it will be convenient to eat. Bon Appetit!
Caution! Keep in mind that it is hard or almost impossible to eat just one.
Why Turks Claim “Lahmacun” is a Turkish Dish not Armenian Pizza?
A couple of months ago, a new tension aroused between Turkey and Armenia. This time the disputed issue was that according to a Turkish newspaper Armenians started to promote Lahmajoon as an Armenian dish.
Moreover, some Turkish newspapers also stressed that Armenians opened two restaurants in Russia for this particular purpose. But the problem is that Turkey itself has always promoted “Lahmacun” as internationally recognized national delicacy and even claimed the ownership of the dish.
Ironically, as we already mentioned Lahmajoon is also popular dish in Israel, Lebanon and Syria. But Turkey took the issue into a very serious level when some television programs tried to explain why the dish is Turkish and not Armenian.
To some, this food tension between two countries may sound amusing, but it is not the first time that food has caused diplomatic tension in Turkey towards Armenia.
But the culinary tension of Turkey isn’t limited only with Armenia. For instance, it has also some troubles with Greece, connected with the origin of halloumi cheese, baklava, raki and olives.
It’s interesting to note that in this kind of questions with Turkey are always involved such nations with which Turkey has some historical or diplomatic tensions.
Something like that happened when Armenian lavash (a thin flatbread that resembles to a tortilla) was characterized on Unesco’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as “an expression of Armenian culture”. It led to some mass protests in Turkey and Azerbaijan whom claimed that it was a regional food.
Other Recipes of Armenian Pizza
Returning to some interesting recipes of Lahmajoon there is also another tasty and yummy way for preparing it that we will now introduce you. It is the Lebanese meat pie recipe that is called “Lahm bi Ajeen”.
This is their variation of Armenian pizza: a flat bread pie with various spicy ground toppings that is baked on a “saaj,” a dome-shaped metal oven. Note, that this recipe of Lahmajoon will be much easier to prepare if you use pre-made flat bread. Thus, here we go.
Preheat oven to 500-520 degrees F. Then spread 3-4 tablespoons of meat topping on every dough and bake them for about 10 minutes. Overall, the preparation of this dish will take you about 40 minutes. Serve it hot with the following side toppings: squeezed lemon juice or Tabasco sauce.
Evidently, Lahmajoon can be made differently and it gives a ground for various improvisations. For instance, if you are a cheese lover you can also add some cheese and make it even more delicious for you. It is just the matter of taste and imagination.
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