Lahmajun – The Next Big Thing In Street Food?

by moderndomestic on June 18, 2009

Armenian festival 1

Armenian food at the Armenian festival.

As I mentioned yesterday, Nonna and I ventured out to Alexandria’s Armenian Festival two weeks ago for a change of scene and to sample some lovely Armenian food. While I was a fan of the buttery rice and perfectly grilled lamb kebabs, it was the lahmajun that officially became my new obsession.

Lahmajun, also known as “Armenian Pizza,” is a thin flatbread that is traditionally topped with ground lamb or beef that has been cooked with tomatoes. The crust was thinner than a usual pizza crust, and had a soft and yielding texture that I found absolutely addictive.

Armenain festival 2

Lahmajun can be eaten rolled up, like this . . .

The lahmajun at the Armenian festival were vegetarian – the topping was a mixture of tomatoes and spices. While I would have liked to have sampled the meat version, the vegetarian version was savory and satisfying – good enough that I’m wondering if lahmajun could be the next big thing in street food. Maybe I should set up a lahmajun stand in Adams Morgan and try to compete with the Jumbo Slice for the late-night drunken crowds? I bet I’d have a fair shot.

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. . . or unrolled, like this.

While I have yet to make lahmajun myself, I did find a couple of recipes online that look tempting:

  • Ivy over at Kopiaste, the beautiful Greek food cooking blog, has a lahmujn recipe that uses ground beef and spices as a topping.
  • Dean and Deluca’s lahmajun recipe is fussier, calling for fancy ingredients like pomegranate molasses (available at Dean and Deluca stores, I’m sure). On the other hand, the recipe calls for store-bought pizza dough, which makes things a bit simpler.

One of these may just have to go on the recipe roster for this weekend. We’ll see how ambitious I get.

Armenian Festival 5

Dancers at the Armenian festival. Nothing to do with Armenian pizza, but I loved their tradition Armenian costumes.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivy June 18, 2009 at 10:51 am

Thanks a lot for the link. I bet lahmajun would be a great hit at Adams Morgan :)


Tara Sharp June 18, 2009 at 11:40 am

This is a great post! I am definitely trying the Dean & Deluca Recipe!
Pomegranate molasses is actually very inexpensive and can be found at import stores… Seattle we have the place down in the international district (molasses, rosewater simple syrup, preserved lemons)- awesome prices or the Spanish table (of course). Let me know if you need me to ship you a bottle.



Amelia June 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Looks fab, and it could definitely be the next big Adams Morgan late night snack. I think it could MAYBE even tempt me away from Julia’s Empanadas. Maybe. :)


Jeff June 18, 2009 at 8:32 pm

You can get decent lahmajun at Arax Cafe in Arlington (5852 N. Washington Blvd) as well as other good Armenian dishes and desserts.


Nonna June 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Sweet Armenian memories! Sounds like we have lahmajun location to check out :-)


Joanne June 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Modern Domestic, how do you get your food pics to look so good? I try to take good ones, but the pic with kebabs is superb!


moderndomestic June 24, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Aw, thank you. I actually get all nervous when I see food blogs written by real food stylists (like, because their photos are AMAZING.

I just take a whole bunch of shots and pick the one that looks the best. I also try to follow the advice The Kitchen gives about amateur food photography:


Suzy Star March 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Years ago I worked for an Armenian Restaurant in Detroit, MI where I found out about Lahmajun along with other delectable Armenian food but like you, my favorite was the Lahmajun. Hetchy made his with Lamb, which it the authentic way and it was fantastic! All the bars for miles around were ordering large amounts that they were serving their bar patrons for they go great with beer and since they are hot and spicy whet your appetite for more! I have often wondered why they haven’t become more popular so I think your idea is a great one and will bring huge success. Good luck in your endeavor. If I lived in your area I would be one of your best customers.


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