Tave Kosi Recipe - How To Make A Perfect Albanian Dish

By World Cuisine 


Because of its history and location in the Balkans, Albanian cuisine, like those of its neighbors, feature a strong Turkish influence. Due to previous occupation within Albanian territory, Greek and Italian influences can be seen as well. In Albania, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, and it offers a chance for friends and family members to catch up while enjoying a nice meal. Typical Albanian food tends to be rich and filling.

Vegetarians will love the fact that Albanian cuisine features a wide variety of vegetables and salads. Depending on the season, you can easily find tomatoes, salad leaves, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, garlic and onion. Oranges, lemons and figs are the main features when it comes to fruits: although you will see tangerines, peaches, prunes, apricots and cantaloupes as well. As you make your way through Albanian cuisine, you'll find that it features generous portions of garlic and onions, with a tart touch from either lemon juice or lemon grating, finished off with a hand of green herbs like dill and parsley, or cinnamon and cloves.

When it comes to meat, lamb and mutton are crowd-pleasers, with chicken coming in third place. The liver, especially, is considered a delicacy. When it comes to a staple food, you'll find that Albanians all enjoy eating a type of corn bread that's flat and pancake-shaped, and can be broken into piece, and enjoyed with kos, an Albanian yogurt made from goat or ewe's milk, or cheese.

Tave Kosi
Tave Kosi can be considered one of Albania's most famous dishes. It is basically baked lamb and rice served in a delicious yogurt sauce. Technically a very simple dish to make, but Tave Kosi is very filling and flavorful, and is a favorite comfort food for Albanians.

The Ingredients:

600-700 g lamb leg or shoulder
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons rice
Salt and Pepper (according to your tastes)

For the Yogurt Sauce:
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 tablespoons butter
900 g yogurt
5 eggs
Salt and Pepper (according to your tastes)

The Instructions:

Cut the lamb into 4-6 serving pieces, and season each piece with salt and pepper. Dot the pieces with the butter. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Place the pieces into a baking pan and put it into the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, checking in every now and again to basting the lamb pieces with their own gravy.

After the lamb has turned brown, remove the baking pan from the oven. Add the 2 tablespoons of rice into the baking pan, making sure it is covered by the gravy. Leave aside for now.

It's now time to prepare the yogurt sauce.

Saute the flour in butter until both of them are mixed thoroughly.

Place the yogurt into a bowl. Add in salt and pepper according to taste. Try not to do overdo the salt and pepper here because the lamb pieces have already been seasoned. Stir in the eggs until the mixture is uniform.

Stir this yogurt mixture into the flour and butter mixture in the saute pan. Stir until everything is smooth.

Pour the combined sauce into the baking pan, stirring it with lamb pieces, and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

This dish is best served hot!

Note: When the mixture cooks, the eggs in it will cause it to solidify, taking on the appearance of quiche. This is perfectly normal.

Visit World Cuisine for a comprehensive list of mouthwatering recipes.

Best of Albanian Cooking: Favorite Family Recipes, by Klementina and Ramazan John Hysa. Located at the crossroads of East and West, Albania is a country whose culinary influences include Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This cookbook includes over 100 recipes for favorite Albanian dishes, covering every aspect of the Albanian meal. It features 14 chapters which cover inviting appetizers and condiments as well as ground meats, poultry, rabbit, vegetables, soups, fish, sauces, compotes, desserts, and refreshing drinks... More

58% of the Albanian labor force is employed in agriculture.

Click here to Easy Panini Recipes


  1. wow, this is really interesting! i come from former yugoslavia and it s true, turkish influence in cooking is strong throughout the balkans. what i remember from eating in restaurants in kosovo, mix of serbian and albanian delicacies, food is indeed rich and also features lots of salads. this recipe sounds really flavoursome and simple, thank you for writing it up :)

  2. I'm so glad you liked it. I have to say I don't have much experience with any of the Balkan foods but I'm always trying to learn new foods and what little I've tried so far I like a lot and I'm quite drawn to it. Since there are no Balkan restaurants anywhere near where I live I've got to learn from recipes I find. It's been a lot of fun.