Spicy Middle Eastern lamb pizza recipe with yoghurt

Adam Liaw
Lamb and harissa pizza.
Lamb and harissa pizza. Photo: William Meppem

I think most of us have our idea of the perfect pizza. Some of us love thin, wafer-like crusts and others thick, cakey versions. Some of us are happy for anything delivered within 20 minutes while others turn their noses up at anything that isn't cooked in Napoli and eaten with a view of the Teatro di San Carlo. The adventurous should try this. There's no fussy arrangement of toppings on this simple lamb pizza. Just fry it all up together and spread it on.


Basic pizza dough 

1¼ cups bread flour, or plain flour

1 tsp dry yeast

pinch castor sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing and brushing


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red onion, finely sliced

350g lamb mince

2 tbsp harissa paste

¼ cup currants

2 tomatoes, halved, coarsely grated, skin discarded

pinch castor sugar

salt and pepper, to season

2 tsp poppy seeds

1/2 cup (140g) Greek-style yoghurt

1/2 lemon, rind finely grated, juiced

1/2 small bunch coriander, chopped

1/2 small bunch mint, leaves picked and torn


Prepare the dough 

For the dough, mix the dry ingredients together until combined, then add ¾ of a cup of warm water and oil and bring together to form a rough dough. Knead for about five minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. Transfer to a slightly warm, greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down to remove any air, roll out into a thin circle and place on a large pizza tray.

For topping

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the garlic and onion until golden, about three to five minutes. Add the mince and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, about five minutes. Add the harissa, currants, tomato flesh, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook for a further two minutes, until the tomato has thickened. Set aside to cool.

Top the pizza base with the lamb mixture, then carefully sprinkle the poppy seeds around the edge and lightly press into the crust. Bake in the oven until the base is golden and cooked, about 10 minutes.

Combine the yoghurt, lemon rind and juice in a separate bowl, and season. Scatter the pizza with the herbs and drizzle with the yoghurt dressing to serve.

Adam's tip

Pizza dough freezes well and will keep for up to three months. Roll the dough into individual balls, freeze on a tray, and then store them in press-seal bags. Defrost the balls in the fridge or at room temperature as you need them.