Lahmajun, Lahem Agin, Lahmajin, Lahmacun, or Lahmajeen–this treat goes by so many different names and pronunciations but this is essentially a mini meat pizza. This family recipe was passed down by my grandmother. You will find this dish throughout arabic countries and it is common in Lebanese or Sephardic families to serve this item during the holidays, Shabbat, and celebrations. If you go to a Sephardic Jewish Wedding, you will see this passed around as an appetizer during the cocktail hour. It is also very popular among the kids. Some people like to make it sweeten and some people like it more lemony. This recipe happens to be more on the lemony side but you can easily add sugar if you would like to make it sweet. If you need one more reason to make them, it’s a great make this ahead of time item!! You will be happy to have them handy in your freezer!
Lahmajeen (60 pieces)
1 large onion, any kind (we used a large red onion)
2 lb. ground beef meat
1 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 cup tamarindi paste
5 tablespoons ketchup
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Pignoli nuts, for garnish
Chop onion in the food processor or if you don’t have a food processor then cut them as small as you can. In a big bowl, combine all of the ingredients together (except the pignoli nuts) and place the fridge until you are ready to use.
**If you like your Lahmajeen sweet, then you can add 1/2 cup of sugar to the meat mixture.
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons fresh or dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 stick of margarine (aka 10 tablespoons or quarter lb)
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
First mix the yeast into lukewarm water and set aside for five minutes.
In mixing bowl, place 2 cups of the flour, the yeast mixture, then the salt, sugar, margarine, and oil. Start the mixer on low and add the last cup of flour a little at a time until the dough forms into a ball and cleans the side of the bowl. You can increase the speed of the mixer after you put in the full cup of the dough.
Now you are ready to assemble!! Form the dough into one big ball and place on floured surface. Cut one quarter of the dough for your first batch and set aside the rest of the dough for the next batch. Roll out the dough onto a well floured surface. I do one quarter of the dough at a time which usually fills up one 12 x 17″ baking tray of cut circles. **The trick to this is that you need to roll out the dough and then flip it and repeat about two times and the counter must be well floured at all times so keep on adding flour if needed. The reason why you keep flipping the dough is so that it stretches out–if you only roll out one side of the dough and cut it into small circles, then the circles will shrink.
Once your first flat sheet of dough is ready, use a round cookie cutter and cut through all of the dough. The extra dough can be combined and rolled out with the other batches.
Place wax baking over your baking sheet and place all of the round mini pies onto it.
Next, take the meat mixture out of the fridge and scoop one tablespoons onto each pie. Last, you will flatten out the meat to evenly cover the pies and place four pignoli nuts on top for garnish. You can remove some meat off of the pies as you go along if you feel like it is too heavy or too much meat.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until crust is brown. If you are freezing, then only bake them at 15-20 minutes so when you reheat them they won’t get too burnt.
Enjoy and please share any comments or questions you may have. I would love to see how yours turns out! Make sure to tag me @lizskosherkitchen if you share it on social media so I can see your masterpiece!