Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Turkish Tempeh Whole Wheat Lahmacun (kinda)

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We got back from Istanbul a few weeks ago and since then it's been one project, road trip and Valentine's day after another. I've barely had a chance to catch up on my stories. Mostly I've been working on upgrading this blog into something a little fancier but I've also been baking a lot, figuring out my trip to Minnesota to visit The Betty Crocker Test Kitchen and veganizing recipes from the cookbooks we brought home from our trip.

I feel like I should tell you - I was unprepared for what an amazing city Istanbul is. I knew Turkey would be one of my favorite parts of our trip and that it would be freezing. What we didn't see coming was how we would feel when we walked into the Hagia Sofia for the first time. For a place so remarkable - there just isn't words. Here's the slideshow of the photos from the part of our trip we were in Turkey if you want to see for yourself.

Get the flash player here:

But that brings us to today and this recipe... You can find Lahmacun in shops and stands all over Istanbul.  Usually made with ground lamb meat, this portable meal is usually rolled up like a New York slice or folded like a taco and wrapped in paper. We actually didn't have one of these in Istanbul for pretty obvious reasons but we started with this recipe because we wanted an excuse to use the new spices we bought in The Grand Bazaar and I was craving pizza. That's why our Lahmacuns are more like personal pizzas you'll need a fork to eat than flatbread wraps but they're still a great dinner and an excuse to expand our spice inventory.

If you're also looking to expand your spice rack - here are the two items you'll need to locate:

  • Sumak/Sumac : This is a dark red powder made from a berry sourced in Anatolia. It has a bitter flavor similar to lemons. If you can't locate it - you can replace it with Cumin or Paprika in the recipe below. 
  • Green Bazilicum/Fesle─čen : I hope you get a little laugh out of this - I did. Behind these foreign names, this green herb that we found in a small spice shop hidden in the winding streets of The Grand Bazaar is just a type of basil. I mean it's a different type than the one we commonly use in The US and it has a very subtle fresher flavor similar to mint but it's basil none the less. So if you can't locate this particular type of basil - I'm sure you'll be able to find a substitution.
Tomorrow there will more Betty baking but tonight we recommend making yourself something kind of different and undeniably delicious! 

Turkish Tempeh Whole Wheat Lahmacun

  • 6 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (you'll need some extra to flour surfaces)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon Crushed Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 2 Package Regular Yeast
  • 6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Cup Warm Water
  • Cornmeal for dusting your pizza stone
  • 1 Package Tempeh
  • 1 Red Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoon Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
  • 2 Dashes Liquid Smoke
  • 2 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Sumac 
  • 1 teaspoon Green Bazilicum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Oregano Leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil 
In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of Flour, Flaxseed, Sugar, Salt and Yeast. Add Olive Oil and Warm Water. Mix with a hand mixer at a medium speed for around 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the Flour, and scrap the side of the bowl to make sure you get any extra that's on the side of the bowl. Mix until the dough is soft and doesn't stick to the side. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springy. Divide your dough into two equally sized portions and form them into two rounded mounds. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest for around 30 minutes.

Prepare your topping but crumbling your Tempeh into your favorite mixing bowl and then adding the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly with a large spoon. Cover the bowl with foil and let marinate. Every once in awhile going back to remix the Toppings. This will make sure that you get an even coating on your Tempeh.

Preheat oven to 425.

On a floured surface, roll out your the dough and form into 2 thick Pizza Crusts a little over 1/2 inch thick. Use your fist to make a shallow bowl that covers most of the dough - leaving a thin edge/crust.  

Dust your beloved little Pizza Stone with Cornmeal. Gently move the Pizza Crust to the stone (there will probably be some reforming needed), and then fill your shallow bowl with Tempeh. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your crust and toppings are golden brown. 

Ta-da! Welcome to Turkish food! 

1 comment:

  1. Your pictures are gorgeous! I'm actually reading a book about Istanbul and I'm completely intrigued! I would love to try this "veganized" version of a Turkish favorite. Thanks!