Albania: Tave Elbasani

We started by cooking 4 lamb chops (about 1 lb) on the stove. We cooked each side for a few minutes over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of butter per side. After they were browned, we lowered the heat and let the cook through, flipping occasionally.


Meanwhile, I made a roux for the yogurt sauce. I melted 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet, then added 2 tablespoons of flour and cooked over medium heat until it turned a nice golden-blonde color. I took it off the heat to let it cool down.


I then mixed together one 32 oz. container of plain Greek yogurt with four eggs and about a teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Then I mixed in the roux. I made sure it had cooled down a little so that the hot roux did not start to cook the eggs in the yogurt mixture.


I put the lamb chops in a prepared 8×10 pan (I would have used a casserole dish if we owned one) with 1/4 cup of rice.


I poured the yogurt sauce on top of the lamb chops.


This went in the oven at 350 F until the yogurt sauce looked thickened and golden brown. This took about 50 minutes.


Tave Elbasani


1 – 1 1/2 lb lamb or beef
2 T butter
1/4 cup rice

For the sauce:
4 T butter
2 T all purpose flour
32 oz. plain Greek yogurt
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook the lamb or beef in the 2 T butter over medium-high heat until browned on big sides.
2. Lower heat and simmer meat until cooked through.
3. Melt 4 T butter in a skillet over medium heat.
4. Mix 2 T flour into melted butter and cook until thickened and blonde in color. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Mix Greek yogurt, eggs, salt, and pepper. Then add in butter/flour mixture.
6. Sprinkle rice in the bottom of a prepared casserole dish. Put cooked lamb in dish, the pour yogurt sauce on top.
7. Bake at 350 degrees until yogurt sauce is thickened and golden brown, about 50 minutes.


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