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We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other. - E.H.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Lamb Pide with Saffron and Honey

Ok, so its actually pretty difficult to pick a favorite pide recipe. This one here is a close runner up for the top spot.

This pide recipe involves cooking the lamb slowly in a savory mix of garlic, ginger, tomato and saffron, finished off with finely chopped dried apricots and a touch of honey. The saffron really shines through in this recipe, its pretty mindblowing. And the touch of sweetness from the fruit and honey are magic.

Really, its better not to choose between this recipe and the recipe for spiced lamp pide posted earlier. Just make both! You'll be famous, I promise.

Crust: (in a pinch, you could use frozen pizza dough)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 lb minced lamb/goat
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp clear honey
  • 3 dried apricots, chopped
  • salt and black pepper 


1. Combine the yeast, sugar, warm water and yogurt, and mix. Let it sit for five minutes. If the yeast is healthy, you should see the mixture bubble, foam or rise in this period. Do not use yeast that isn't active at this stage.

2. Add the yeast mixture, flour, salt and oil. Knead until the dough is smooth and flexible.

3. Cover the dough and let it rise for one hour, or more.

4. When the dough has risen, punch it down, knead briefly and separate it into 3 balls (or more, if you want smaller pide). Let the dough rest for ten minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 360 degrees

5. Roll the dough out into a large oval on a well flowered surface. Then, fold in the sides to shape the dough into a large boat.

6.  Place the dough on a cookie sheet and cook at 360 degrees until firm, about 15 minutes. While you are baking the dough, prepare the filling.


1. Heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add the lamb and fry until browned. 

2. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened.

3. Stir in the tomato paste, ginger, coriander, saffron and cinnamon. Stir. 

4. Drain the water from the canned tomatoes and add - cook for ten minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down. 

5. Stir in honey and apricots and stir for two minutes. 

6. Pile this mixture onto the cooked pizza dough. Cook for 10 minutes, or until hot. 

7. Garnish generously with yogurt, chopped cilantro and toasted sesame seeds (although I forgot the sesame seeds last time, and it was still delicious.) Serve cut into wide strips.


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