Tave Kosi (Slow Baked Lamb with Rice and Yoghurt)


Tave Kosi (Slow Baked Lamb with Rice and Yoghurt)
Tave Kosi is a traditional Albanian dish renowned for its rich flavours and comforting aroma.

Tave Kosi (Slow Baked Lamb with Rice and Yoghurt) is made with tender slow-cooked lamb, which is seasoned and nestled on a bed of fragrant rice and topped with creamy yogurt sauce, similar to a moussaka.

Tave Kosi (Slow Baked Lamb with Rice and Yoghurt) Recipe

Serves: 4


100g unsalted butter, chopped

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1.5 kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces

1 small brown onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

½ cup long grain rice, rinsed

2 tsp dried oregano

¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano

⅓ cup plain flour

600g Greek-style yoghurt

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp lemon juice


Heat 20g butter and oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper, add to pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until golden. Add 2½ cups water, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cook partially covered 1 hour and 30 minutes or until lamb is just tender.

Drain off liquid, reserving 200ml. Add rice, dry and fresh oregano and reserved cooking liquid and mix well to combine. Season and transfer to a 3-litre capacity baking dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced). Melt remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Set aside.

Whisk together yoghurt, eggs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Pour over lamb and rice mixture, smooth surface and bake for 40 minutes or until top is golden and blistered.

Smart Tip:

Similar to a moussaka, this is a national dish from Albania. You can use lamb neck or lamb shanks instead of lamb shoulder. The lamb is even better if you braise it a few days ahead, reserving the 200ml braising liquid.


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