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 yoghurt made from goat or ewe’s milk, or cheese.

Tavë Kosi

Tavë Kosi can be considered one of Albania’s most famous dishes. It is basically baked lamb and rice served in a delicious yoghurt sauce. Technically a very simple dish to make, but TavëKosi is very filling and flavorful, and is a favourite 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 Yoghurt Sauce:

1 tablespoon plain flour

4 tablespoons butter

900 g yoghurt

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 yoghurt sauce.

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

Place the yoghurt 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 yoghurt mixture into the flour and butter mixture in the sauté 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.


Source by Yvonne C.