Around the world in 14 dinners - Day 4 Turkey - lamb gözleme


Turkish lamb gözleme and Shepherd's Salad

Our round the world trip suffered a little bump on our third stop Ukraine. We started with aplomb in Norway with Fårikål and continued to Mexico for a merry Cinco de Mayo dinner. Then clearly not considering our carbon footprint much, we jetted to Ukraine for some Borscht soup and Pampuski bread. I loved it, but husband apparently doesn't like beetroot and was looking at the red liquid with the grated vegetables with suspicion. Amazing to find out he still holds some secrets after 18 years. But nevermind, onwards to Turkey we kept on truckin'.

Or mainly it's me who is truckin' and unsuspecting and powerless husband is being hauled to wherever I want to take us next.

But luckily my Turkish gözleme (or gozleme) plan was always going to be exactly husband's cup of tea as it included lamb and warm spices like cumin and paprika. The slight risk was the spinach which husband has sometimes rebelled against (in his very mild way that many wouldn't recognise as rebellion) but I chopped it and mixed it with the lamb. I think it's the wet texture of certain spinach dishes that he doesn't appreciate.

I got this idea from a friend's Facebook page, she'd made these and they looked delicious. I thought they would be more fiddly to make, but they are actually really easy. The dough is really easy to handle and even though I call them pancakes the consistency is different. More like quesadilla, but not even like quesadilla exactly. It's just really nice.

And as expected, husband loved them, although as I placed the platter of half of the gözleme and the salad on the table, he asked if this was it? It looked like a snack to him. But after we'd finished those and most of the rest that I'd been keeping warm in the oven he admitted it was enough for dinner.

He told me in his single days he used to have these often from some little restaurant or takeaway in London, I only knew of one time we've had these, which was in Istanbul in Mom's corner restaurant, where we had these after a too long visit to a stupid archaeological museum for which I can only blame myself. Husband noticing my annoyance, sat me on the soft colourful cushions, promptly got me some of these amazing pancakes, cold ayran and a glass of white wine and happiness was restored.

Turkish lamb gözleme or gozleme filled pancakes

Turkish lamb gözleme or gozleme filled pancakes

Gözleme with lamb and spinach filling (makes four pancakes)

Original recipe is here - I modified it very little.


2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup greek yoghurt
1/2 cup water


1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
200-250g ground lamb
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
1 small bag (abut 200g) of fresh spinach chopped (or use frozen spinach)
1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
1/2 cup of grated halloumi
1 medium tomato chopped

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and stir in the yogurt and water. Continue mixing with a spoon until everything is well combined.

Flour your work surface and knead the dough for about 3 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat then add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the ground lamb to the skillet and break it up with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, until browned. Stir in the tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Add the chopped spinach, stir everything together and cook for another 2 minutes. Let the meat mixture cool slightly.

In the meantime divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each piece into a thin round sphere about 25-30 cm (10-12 inches) in diameter.

Spoon a quarter of the lamb mixture on one half of the dough and spread it out evenly. Add 1/4 of the fresh mint and parsley, crumbled feta and grated halloumi and the chopped tomato and spread evenly. Fold over the other side of the dough and press with your fingers to seal the edges.

Repeat with remaining dough pieces.

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Depending on the size of your skillet, add 1 or 2 of the gözleme and cook on each side for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Spray more cooking spray as needed.

Cut each gözleme in half and serve with a Turkish Shepherd's salad.

You Might Also Like