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Lahkma June – (Assyrian Pizza)

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  • by chrisyonan

When I started this blog I knew I had to post this recipe; pizza is a friendly way to introduce foreigners to a new cuisine because come on, who doesn’t like pizza? But I had never made Lahkma June before. In fact, I’d never even tasted it. I asked my mother why she never made it and her response was, “It’s a pain to make the dough”. Understood. But since she never made it, I didn’t have a recipe for it. Crap.

 

The one person who always loved Lahkma June was my great-Aunt Rose. In addition to being a great cook and a wonderful woman, Rose was the pillar of her church in Chicago. She taught Sunday School there for 40 years. The church published a cookbook in the 80s and due to the large Assyrian presence in the congregation they included an “ethnic foods” section in the back. 85% of those recipes were Rose’s. Next thing you know I get an email from my mother with a scanned recipe from the back of the church cookbook with Rose’s name next to it. I miss Rose every day, but I like the fact that I can keep her alive not only in my heart, but in my stomach as well.

 

Note: My mother was right: making the dough is a pain. Not difficult, just a pain. If you buy flour tortillas you could substitute with those. Or you could buy a frozen pizza dough from Trader Joes. And while the Assyrians roll it out very thin (to a tortilla thickness) you could certainly leave it a little thicker if you prefer traditional pizza. Or buy a Boboli crust if you feel like it. Remember my motto: all flavor, no judgment. Regardless, this cheese-less pizza (whaaa?) is a keeper.

 

This one’s for you Rose!

 

Lahkma June (Assyrian Pizza)

 

Yeast dough:

7 cups flour

3 cups warm water

1 ¼ tbl salt

1 yeast cake (2 oz)

 

Topping:

3 lbs ground lamb or beef

1 bunch parsley, chopped

2 med. green peppers, chopped

1 can crushed tomatoes (16-oz)

1 can tomato sauce (15-oz)

½ tsp black pepper

1 tbl allspice

¾ tbl salt

14 garlic cloves, crushed

1 ½ tbl paprika

 

Place the flour and salt in a bowl. Crumble yeast and soften in ½ cup water, then add the remaining water (2 ½ cups). Pour yeast mixture over flour and salt and mix well. If using a stand mixer, about 5 minutes with the dough hook. If by hand, about 10 minutes.

 

Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place. Punch down and let rise for 45 minutes. Make 45 balls and let rise for another 10 minutes. Roll out very thinly into individual round disks, 6 inches in diameter.

 

Brown the meat and green pepper in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, about 7 minutes. Add the remainder of the topping ingredients and cook until warm and flavors have integrated, about 4 minutes.

 

Spread the topping evenly on the dough. Bake on cookie sheet for 8 minutes in a 350-degree oven on the lower rack, then move to the higher rack for another 8 minutes.

 

Comments

5 thoughts on “Lahkma June – (Assyrian Pizza)

  1. I havebn’t had this in years and it sounds and looks delicious!!! Way to go, Chris. Aunty Rose would be proud of you AND proud that you’re following in her footsteps – not only in cooking but in teaching Sunday School!!
    And, Deb, feta is a great idea!!! The Greeks and the Assyrians are great friends!!

  2. I can’t wait to make this – and TRY it and I’m one of those half Assyrians/half Greeks and Aunt Connie is so right! Assyrians and Greeks are great friends — great combination. I can’t wait to read your blog and spread the word. Awesome job! xoxo

  3. Hello! I have that (blue, small, hard-cover) cookbook, but my family never made this dish, as far as I remember. With your recommendation, I’m going to try it.

    But what I really want is a YouTube for chaddah (nonsweet), because I know I can do better but don’t really have anyone to teach me. Of course, all true Assyrians know that “Any chaddah is better than no chaddah!” Thank you.

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