Tave Kosi — National Albanian Dish

I made Tave Kosi tonight for my family and served it with green salad, ciabatta rolls dipped in olive oil, and homemade applesauce my sister made. We liked this popular Albanian dish pretty well and decided to enjoy the leftovers for breakfast tomorrow. Baked over the lamb is a mixture of yogurt and eggs made into a custard-like topping, so it’s fairly breakfast-y. Adding herbs would be a good improvement; I would suggest thyme and oregano.

Traditional Albanian Dish: Tave Kosi

Adapted from Cristina Pinton’s post on Suite 101

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil for browning meat
  • 4 cups white unsweetened yogurt at room temperature (preferably homemade and/or Greek)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper as needed
  1. Heat coconut oil in heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add ground meat, turning over to brown meat on each side.
  2. Once browned, add 1/2 cup water (if necessary) and let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes until tender. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Remove meat and place in baking dish.
  4. In a medium pot (off heat), begin yogurt sauce by adding salt and pepper to yogurt. Beat 5 eggs in a bowl before adding to the yogurt mixture. Add flour. Whisk until smooth. Add the rice.
  5. Heat mixture on medium low heat, stiring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken (approximately 5-10 minutes). Do not boil.
  6. Pour thickened yogurt over the meat already in the pan. Cut butter into small pieces and spread evenly over top of yogurt mixture.
  7. Bake at about 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Yogurt will firm up and yellow, like a quiche.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

I will be out of the state next weekend, but the following weekend will probably find me making another national dish. This time the menu idea will come from Algeria.


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