Kiymali Gozleme, a Turkish flatbread with minced beef mixture is sealed and pan-roasted in olive oil or butter and served with lemon wedges.
I love recipes that have little effort but maximum flavour! A simple dough stuffed with minced meat mixture and pan-roasted. And yet, they sell like hot cakes!
I spent hours on the internet trying to find the traditional Gozleme recipe. But got lost in the sea of content about Turkish flatbread with minced beef recipes and how different each one was from the other. I then looked for Turkish websites and YouTube channels to find a more reliable source. After several hours (true story) I started making notes on Sticky Notes because Turkish language content gave a new perspective to my knowledge of Gozleme or gerz-leh-meh as you would have to pronounce it.
What does gozleme mean in Turkish?
There are more than one meaning and history behind the name of this dish, Gözleme. Gozleme may have been derived from the Turkish word közleme - meaning "to cook on embers" or "grill". It may also have been derived from the word gözleri - meaning "eyes" referring to the dark spots after roasting on a sac pan. But in general and more commonly, Gozleme is translated as pancakes or flatbreads or waffles.
What is Kıymalı Gözleme?
Now if Gozleme is a pancake, then it should be some kind of pancake or flatbread. There can be different types of Gozleme and each is called with the prefix of the specific type. For example, Kiymali Gozleme where Kıymalı means minced meat or ground meat.
Other popular Gozleme varieties
- Patatesli, which are potato stuffed! - carb on carb!
- Yeşillik, which includes any type of greens
- Ispanaklı, which is specifically spinach
- Peynirli, which is made using cheese and Feta is preferred
What really piqued my interest was the different names of Turkish flatbreads that are not very different from each other! Like, how different is Etli Ekmek (meaty bread) from Lahmacun (meat with dough)? I will leave that to you! 😝
How to make kiymali gözleme at home?
All kinds of Gozleme starts with the simple well kneaded and well-rested dough prepared with just flour, salt and water. There are yeasted versions too but this recipe of Turkish flatbread with minced beef is without yeast. I divided my dough into 10 small balls that can fit my pan. So please divide the dough as per your pan size.
The dough is rolled until thin with more dry flour, filled with desired stuffing and sealed and brushed with oil then cooked on the sac or grill or a cast iron pan like I did. Unlike the muttabaq or porotta where the dough is dunked in oil and slapped to the thinnest, for Gozleme the dough is completely oil-free. You may use more flour to assist with the rolling, but the way the dough is kneaded and prepared, rolling is effortless. The dough stretches so neatly without tearing or giving up. So the key is to prepare the dough soft and give it resting time.
Knead flour and salt with enough water for 10 minutes or until smooth. Rest the dough for 20 minutes and divide into equal balls.
Add the minced meat, onion, tomato, parsley leaves, and chilli flakes in a bowl. Mix with warm water and whisked egg (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dust the work counter with flour and roll the dough ball as thin as you can to make it.
Place a ladle of the meat stuffing in one half of the rolled-out dough (leaving some space along the edge to seal later) and spread it to a thin even layer.
Bring the other half and carefully close without trapping any air. Seal the sides by pressing down gently and pinching the dough if required. The assembled pancake should resemble a half-moon.
What goes with gozleme?
An Anatolian classic dish, Gozleme was part of Breakfast but garnered popularity as street fast food across all the major western countries. So you can now find them on the menu in fast food trucks, cafes and hole-in-the-wall outlets as a takeaway dish. It is usually served with some yoghurt and lemon wedges which you need to generously squeeze all over the hot gozleme before you take a bite.
Recipe adapted from Ev Yemeği Tarifleri
Kiymali Gozleme | Minced Meat Turkish Flatbread
For the dough
- 2 cups all-purpose flour maida
- ¾ cup water (approx)
- salt to taste
For the stuffing
- 400 grams ground beef or lamb
- 1 large onion grated
- 1 large tomato grated
- 15 fresh parsley leaves only, chopped
- 1 large egg optional
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- salt to taste
- olive oil or butter
- Lemon wedges
Prepare the dough
- Mix the flour and salt in a wide bowl. Start kneading with water in small additions. Keep a timer and knead for 10 minutes.
- Rest the dough covered for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Knead lightly and divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Smooth each of the balls into a neat dough ball.
Prepare the stuffing
- Stir in the minced meat, onion, tomato, parsley leaves, and chilli flakes.
- Mix in the warm water and whisked egg (if using).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble Kıymalı Gözleme
- Dust the work area with flour. Take one dough ball and start rolling it. Roll as thin as you can to make it.
- Place a ladle of the meat stuffing in one half of the rolled-out dough (leaving some space along the edge to seal later) and spread it to a thin even layer.
- Bring the other half and carefully close without trapping any air. Seal the sides by pressing down gently and pinching the dough if required. The assembled pancake should resemble a half-moon.
Prepare Kıymalı Gözleme
- Heat a thick-bottomed pan or cast iron pan and grease lightly with olive oil or butter.
- Transfer the stuffed gozleme to the hot pan and cook on medium flame.
- Flip and brush butter while roasting both sides.
- Serve hot with yoghurt, lemon wedges, and some fresh vegetable salad.