Lahmajoon, or “dough with meat”, is a well known Armenian dish, with many variations all around the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is traditionally made with yeast dough, shaped into a circle, like cheese pizza.
Here, I’ve decided to use dough that is quicker to make, made with yogurt and olive oil, instead of the traditional yeast dough.
To make things even easier, I rolled the dough over a cookie sheet pan and baked it as a large rectangle pie. I also added some pine nuts on top of the meat layer, for extra flavor and crunchiness.
The result is crispy dough, with tasty-spicy meat topping. Served with a green salad, it makes a nice quick lunch or dinner.
* If the amount here is too much for your needs, you can easily cut all the amounts in half and prepare a smaller pie.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 20-22 minutes
For the dough:
2 cups flour
1 cup Spelt flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs salt
17.6 oz (500 grams) thick 2% yogurt
½ cup Kefir or buttermilk
2 Tbs olive oil
For the meat layer:
0.9 lb (400 grams) lamb shoulder (or beef), cut into small cubes
1 small onion, cut in half
6 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup washed and dried cilantro, packed
¼ cup washed and dried parsley, packed
½ jalapeno or according to taste
2 Tbs pine nuts
1. The dough: in a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt. Add the yogurt, kefir and olive oil. Knead to a fairly sticky dough (add flour only if too sticky to shape, otherwise the dough will be too dense). Shape into a round, cover and set aside.
2. Line a cookie sheet pan (18”x26” (45cm x 66cm)) with foil and baking paper. Turn the oven to 500F (260C).
3. The meat topping: place all the ingredients for the meat layer – except for the pine nuts – in a food processor, with the metal blade. Process to a paste.
4. Roll the dough on a lightly floured working space, to a rectangle a bit larger than the pan. Place the dough in it and prick it all over with a fork.
5. Spread the meat paste evenly on top. Bake for 17 minutes. Scatter the pine nuts on top of the meat layer and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until golden.
6. Transfer to a large cutting board. Cut into squares with a large, heavy knife.
28 thoughts on “Armenian Meat Pie (Lahmajoon) with Quick Yogurt-Spelt Dough”
Very interesting recipe, love the use of dough with yoghurt…
pinning for the future! 😉
Thank you Sally. Hope you’ll enjoy the results. 🙂
Oh that sounds wonderful, love the crispy dough and meat filling. I’ll have to try that dough, it looks really good.
Thank you Suzanne. Hope you’ll enjoy the results! 🙂
I am drooling looking at the pictures. I love lahmajoon and your crispy dough sounds super delicious!
Thanks for posting this recipe.
Thank you Sandhya. I’m glad you liked the recipe. 🙂
This looks delicious! A friend of mine, who’s of Palestinian descent, has a mom who makes the most delicious little dough pillows filled with meat. I bet this tastes a lot like them!!
Thank you Cecile. This type of pastries is well known all over the Middle East, but as much as I know the origin is Armenian.
If no spelt flour available, will whole wheat be a satisfactory substitute?
Whole wheat flour has heavier texture than spelt, and doesn’t have spelt’s nutty flavor, but I think it could still work out.
Maybe use less whole wheat and more white flour, just to make sure the dough will not turn out too heavy and dense.
Good luck! 🙂
very cool! I love how your blog opens new worlds to me 🙂
Thank you Liz. I’m really glad to hear! 🙂
Looks delicious Ronit, and also it’s very similar to what they have here in Luxembourg and Alzace, the only thing they use some cream as a part of the topping 🙂 Finally I will know how to make this kind of dough because I use yeast and your recipe is so much easier to make! By the way lamb shoulder is one of my favorites 😀 have a nice week Ronit! xx
Thank you Marta. I know the dish has lots of variations, but never heard of the one with the cream. It sounds really good! I’ll check it out next time I’ll be making this. Have a good week as well. 🙂
Looks yammee… and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL
Thank you! 😀
It looks delicious–and like it would be a fun recipe to try.
Thank you Sheryl. 🙂 With the quick dough it’s really much easier to make than with the original yeast dough.
Sounds delightful. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Liz. 🙂
Ahhh..you brought back memories of dining with a group of Armenian friends long ago, Ronit. 🙂 I haven’t had Lahmajoon for years! Thanks for posting this recipe, giving me the opportunity to make it myself! Your version looks delicious and I love the sound of your dough variation, too.
Nancy, I’m really glad to know this recipe brought back such nice memories. 🙂
The yogurt dough turned out really great, even though it is obviously different in texture from the traditional yeast dough. But as I know Armenians use yogurt a lot, so it felt o.k. to change… 🙂
Looks amazing. 🙂
never seen any lamb pie before…
Thank you Dedy. 🙂
The lamb is very tasty here, and you can also use beef.
This is one of my favorites, yours looks so delicious !
Thank you Lea! 🙂
It’s a favorite of mine as well, and with the yogurt dough I can make it more often, without the need to plan ahead with the yeast dough.
Looks great, I think I will try out your recipe 🙂
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Thank you Despina, I’m glad you liked it. I hope you’ll enjoy the results. I’ll be happy to hear your comments. 🙂
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