002 Albania – Tavë kosi

002 Albania - Tavë kosi

Tavë kosi

Tavë kosi (“soured milk casserole”) is a national dish in Albania. It is a simple dish of lamb (occasionally chicken, then called tavë kosi me mish pule) and rice baked with a mixture of yogurt and eggs (replacing the original soured milk) added to a roux (wheat flour and butter).  It is also popular in Turkey, where it is known as Elbasan tava (Albanian: Tavë Elbasani or Tava e Elbasanit), named after the Albanian city of Elbasan. Some preparations of the Turkish cuisine version involve Béchamel sauce instead of the traditional yogurt sauce.


6 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. olive oil, preferably Lucini brand

2 lb. lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1⁄2″ pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1⁄3 cup flour

3 tbsp. long grain white rice

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tbsp. finely chopped oregano

4 cups plain yogurt

1⁄8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

5 eggs


Heat 3 tbsp. butter and the oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper and toss with 1⁄4 cup flour. Working in batches, cook lamb, turning as needed, until browned, 10–12 minutes. Add rice, garlic, and 1⁄2 cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium- low; cook, covered, until rice is just tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in oregano, salt, and pepper and transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish; set aside.
Heat oven to 375°. Melt remaining butter in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in remaining flour; cook until smooth, 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in yogurt, nutmeg, eggs, salt, and pepper until smooth. Pour yogurt sauce evenly over lamb mixture. Bake until golden and the lamb is tender, 45–60 minutes.

Author: martymadeitproductions

A Home Chef's Journey

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