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Faux-Lahmacun |

This week we cooked from the life-changing Tin Can Magic: Simple, delicious recipes using pantry staples by Jessica Elliott Dennison. These lamb flatbreads are scandalously easy to make, and scandalously moreish.

Prep time: Including flat bread making, 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes: Enough for two (or one famished individual)


For the flatbread (makes 6 small or 4 large):

250g (9oz/ 2cups) plain flour, plus extra for rolling out

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

250g (9oz/ 1 cup) natural yoghurt

vegetable oil (or other neutral oil) for frying

For the topping:

2 tsp cumin seeds (or ground if you only have that to hand)

1 tsp fennel seeds (optional, but recommended)

1 tbsp vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)

250g (9oz) minced lamb (beef, chicken, pork or vegan mince also work!)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

For topping your topping:

Lemon zest


Mint leaves

For the mint & cucumber yoghurt:

1/2 cucumber finely diced

1 tsp mint leaves (fresh or dried)

1 tsp salt

1 clove garlic minced

5 tbsp natural yoghurt

1. The Dough

Pour 250g flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt into a bowl and stir. Add the 250g of yoghurt and stir with a spatula. When mostly combined turn the dough out onto a floured work top and knead into a smooth ball (roughly 2 minutes). Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a plate or tea towel and bench it on the side until later.

2. The flava

Turkish food is always bursting with flavour. This dish's greatness is dependant on seasoning and spices. To get the base of the lamb's flavour, toast your cumin and fennel seeds (if you're missing these seeds, and using ground spices instead, skip this step). Add them to an already hot, dry pan. Toast for 1-2 minutes until browned.

This is twice the seeds you needs!

Transfer the seeds to a pestle and mortar or chopping board and crush, listening for the symphony of crackle as you go. Put these to the side to wait in the wings with the bread dough.

3. Meet the meat (or not...)

Put the pan back on a high heat. Add the oil. Once hot, add your lamb (or other meat, or non-meat, of choice). Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly crispy and browned (3-4 minutes).

Then stir in the crushed spices, 1tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (or more if you like things a lil hotter). Once all is combined and smelling predictably glorious, pour in the tinned tomatoes. You'll want to cook this on a relatively high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is reduced to an inviting, thicc consistency.

4. Back to the bread

While the lamb is cooking pop your flatbread dough back onto a floured surface cut into four or six equal sections (depending on how large your want your flatbread).

Flatten out one of the lumps of dough. Roll or stretch out to a rough circle (a true circle is practically impossible. Lumpiness is encouraged and should be referred to only as a "rustic aesthetic").

Once the first flatbread is flattened, heat a frying pan to a very high heat. Pour a dash of vegetable oil (or other oil) and spread across the bottom of the pan with some kitchen roll. Add the rolled out flatbread. Keep an eye on it, and once it's brown and slightly charred on the bottom (about 2 minutes) flip it.

When cooked similarly on the other side, remove from the pan and add another flatbread.

But this is a legit kitchen now, so there are tasks to do whilst you're flipping flatbreads and checking in on your meat.

5. The cucumber yoghurt dip

Let's get to multitasking! Chop the cucumber relatively finely (or chunkily, it is up to you!). You're probably relatively hot and bothered from cooking up this treat, so cut yourself a refreshing cucumber stick and cool off. In a smallish bowl mix this cucumber with 1 tsp salt, 1 clove of minced garlic, mint, torn into small amounts (bonus of tearing = hands smell like mojito) and 5 tbsp yoghurt. Stir and pop to the side.

6. Plating up

Keep going with the flatbreads until you've cooked them all. If the meat is cooked while you're still flattening those breads, turn it to a very low heat, just to keep it warm. Once all the flatbreads a cooked you're ready to plate on up! Take two (or three) flatbreads each, arrange quaintly on your plate, top with the spicy, tomato, meat dish and some of the cucumber yoghurt. Add as much lemon zest, sumac and mint leaves as you see fit!

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "Only a God could have dreamed up a dish this flipping tasty, whilst keeping it so flipping simple. (Thank you Jessica Elliott Dennison) I've made this easy flat bread recipe a few times now, as well as the yoghurt, and they both hold up. The only reason I haven't made the lamb again is because I'm not sure I can handle my tiny mind being blown again. 10/10 make it noooow."

Kate says: "I’ve got to say that I cook a lot from this cookbook, just because the recipes are so quick and easy, but this was a new and particularly delicious one. Lizzy and I always tend to chat while we’re cooking; so by the time we came to actually eat this I was ravenous (which may have skewed my opinion) but my oh my the flavour. I think those whole cumin and fennel seeds(or freshly toasting them) really makes a difference. It also helps if you’re distracted catching up with your sister because then your flat breads go lovely and crisp and brown. 9/10""

9.5/10 Gasps


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