Lahmacun (also lahmajoun and other spellings) is a round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat (most commonly beef or lamb), minced vegetables and herbs including onions, tomatoes and parsley, and spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and cinnamon, then baked. Lahmacun is often wrapped around vegetables, including pickles, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and roasted eggplant. It is sometimes described as Turkish pizza,Armenian pizza, or similar names. Though it somewhat resembles pizza, it has only in modern times been called by that name, and it is of Middle Eastern rather than European origin. Furthermore, unlike pizza, lahmacun traditionally does not contain cheese.
The name derives from the Arabic: لحم عجين, laḥm ʿajīn, short for Arabic: لحم بعجين, laḥm bi-ʿajīn, meaning "meat with dough". The spelling variation lahmacun comes from Turkish, and is pronounced like "lah-ma-june".
Flatbreads in the Middle East have been cooked in tandoors and on metal frying pans such as the tava for thousands of years. They have been used to wrap meat and other foods for convenience and portability. However, it was not until the wider adoption in medieval times of the large stone oven that flatbreads stuffed or topped with meat or other foods were baked together, cooking the bread and the topping at the same time. A variety of such dishes, such as sfiha and manakish, became popular in countries formerly parts of the Ottoman Empire, especially Turkey, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. A thin flatbread, topped with spiced ground meat, became known as laham b'ajin (meat with dough), shortened to lahmajin and similar names.
Lahmacun was popular in the eastern regions of Turkey, and after 1960 it spread all over the country.