Armenian Lahmajoun & Eech
Here’s one food I’d never tried before: Armenian. I actually couldn’t even name an Armenian dish! Creating this meal was extra fun for me, since my boyfriend’s family is Armenian and they hadn’t tried much of the cuisine either.
Lahmajoun (translated from Arabic as “meat with dough”) is commonly known as “Armenian pizza”. This is just further proof that literally everyone loves pizza. This recipe is true to the traditional, with mashed (cooked) lentils as a substitute for ground lamb. Although I’ve never had the original dish, I would venture to say this came pretty close and is a great plant-based version. Eech is a healthy and refreshing lemony bulgur salad that makes an excellent side dish to the lahmajoun. This salad on it’s own would be a great snack any time of year!
Lahma-go-on and make it for yourself, and let me know what you think!
For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
3 tbsp warm water
¾ cup lukewarm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the dough ball
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Extra flour, as necessary
For the topping:
2 cups cooked lentils, mashed or ground (1 cup dried lentils = 2ish cups cooked)
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
⅓ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
Melted vegan butter (I used Earth Balance) and lemon wedges, for serving
To make dough:
- Stir together the yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Set aside until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the lukewarm water, sugar, salt, and oil into the yeast mixture. Sift in the flour and mix to make a dough you can gather into a ball. Transfer the dough ball to a floured surface and knead until it is elastic and smooth but still soft. Lightly coat the dough ball with olive oil and return it to the bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough.
To make topping:
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until thoroughly blended.
- That’s it!
Let’s put it all together:
- Preheat the oven to 475 F.
- When ready to make the lahmajoun, place the dough on a floured surface and cut it into 16 portions (if you like a thicker pizza, only cut into 10 portions). Roll each portion between your palms to form a small ball. Roll the balls in flour to coat all around and cover them with a barely damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll out each dough ball into a 6-inch round, placing them side by side without touching on baking sheets as you go. With your fingers, spread a thin layer of the topping over the surface of each all the way to the edges (if you make thicker pizzas, you can add a thicker layer of toppings).
- Bake until the edges begin to turn golden brown, about 6 minutes. Check the lahmajoun and possibly reposition the baking pans to insure even cooking all around and bake until the crusts are slightly brown on the bottoms, an additional 4 to 6 minutes.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, drizzled with melted butter and lemon wedges to squeeze on just before eating. This last step really punched up the flavor and made a difference for me!
The lahmajoun may be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen longer.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp paprika
1 cup bulgur
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add diced veggies.
Reduce heat to medium-low and saute 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Add can of tomato sauce, tomato paste and the juice of the 2 lemons. Fill the tomato can with water and add that to the pan.
Bring to a boil and add paprika, salt and pepper.
Add the bulgur, remove from heat, cover the pan and let sit until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender (about 30 minutes).
Stir in chopped parsley.
Lahmajoun recipe adapted from and inspired by The Wise Kitchen.
Eech recipe from Food.com.