Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

tave kosi (albanian lamb and rice)

a recipe by
Lori Loucas (JostLori)
San Diego

This delicious and garlicky lamb and rice casserole is the National Dish of Albania. Comfort food at it's very best! I had this at various restaurants and private homes in Albania, and it's different in every place, but so very good! It can also be made with chicken, in which case it's called Tave Kosi Me Mish Pule.

serves 8
prep time 25 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For tave kosi (albanian lamb and rice)

  • 6 Tbsp
    unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lb
    boneless lamb shoulder
  • 6 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    fresh oregano, minced
  • 3 Tbsp
    white rice
  • 1/3 c
  • 4 c
    plain greek yogurt
  • 4
    eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 tsp
    nutmeg, freshly grated

How To Make tave kosi (albanian lamb and rice)

  • 1
    Cut the lamb into 1 1/2 inch chunks. In a lidded pan over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil. Add the lamb and brown it. In batches if necessary.
  • 2
    Return all the lamb to the pan, then add the garlic and oregano. Saute for one minute, then add a cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 35-40 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. Add a bit more water if necessary.
  • 3
    Add the rice to the lamb and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the contents of the pot into a 3 qt ovenproof dish. Set aside. Wipe out the pot to use in the next steps.
  • 4
    Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • 5
    Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and add the flour to make a roux. Stir for about 2 minutes and remove the pan from the heat. Add the yogurt and stir to combine. Return to heat and gently cook for two minutes. Remove from heat again and add the beaten eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • 6
    Pour the yogurt sauce evenly over the lamb and rice mixture. Grate nutmeg lightly over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • 7
    Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with a salad and some crusty bread.

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