After Afghanistan, I immediately started my research on Albanian Cuisine and even bookmarked what I wanted to cook, but it took me two months to put together a dish and blog about it! Certain things take their own sweet time. So here I am sharing my version of the most unique dish from Albania which I made last Friday for breakfast.
Albania is a southeastern European country that is officially called the Republic of Albania. I kept discovering more about Albanian cuisine and realized most of their food is so kin to North African and Levant countries. To understand their cuisine, you need to read about their history. I used to hate History class during my school days but these days I am so curious to read more about political, geographical or even biographical history. 😛 Anyways coming to the topic, Albania has been occupied by Greece, Serbia, Italy and the Ottoman Turks in different eras and each group have left its mark on Albanian cuisine. So it is not surprising to know they too have Baklavas, relevant, spinach pies, rice pudding etc.
I was eyeing making their famous rice pudding and calling it a day, but that is not new to us, right? Our Indian kheer is very similar to their rice pudding. Then they had a lot of pies and broke which I would believe is their national dish... though I did not see that being mentioned anywhere on the internet. Most of their desserts are influenced by neighbouring regions, so I just returned to my first bookmarked dish - Kimë me Vezë! 😛 Happens a lot of time... right? You choose one thing but you keep looking hoping to see something better than just getting back to what you chose first!
Kimë me Vezë roughly translates as meat with egg. The dish is made of ground/minced meat cooked in olive oil with onions, garlic, tomatoes, and mildly spiced with paprika and pepper then eggs are just dropped in the stew and cooked until done. This can be served with any kind of bread or pasta or even rice. I went with shell-shaped pasta and served it separately for breakfast. simple. tasty. and yet very filling.
Kimë me Vezë | Meat with Egg | Albanian Stew
Yields: 2 hungry people who starved all night
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions diced finely
- 3 garlic cloves grated
- 250 grams minced meat (I used beef)
- 1 fresh tomato chopped
- 1 carrot cut into roundels
- 1 red hot pepper chopped into thin roundels
- 1 teaspoon paprika (or Kashmiri red chilli powder)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- 1 to 2 cups boiling water or as required (just an inch above the mixture)
- 2 eggs (or one egg a person)
- Salt to taste
- In a deep pot heat olive oil and add chopped onion and sauté until translucent and then add crushed garlic and sauté for another minute
- Now, add the washed and drained minced beef and brown the meat (do not add water yet, let the meat get cooked with its moisture)
- Once the meat is dry, add in the chopped tomato, carrots, salt, pepper, paprika or Kashmiri red chilli powder and a cup of hot water. Water should be enough to cover all the content of the pan.
- Cover and cook while checking occasionally to stir and prevent it from getting burnt. halfway through add in the chopped red pepper and give it a mix and cover again.
- When the sauce has reached your desired consistency, add the eggs one by one into the stew (you may want to break the egg into a bowl first to avoid any shell falling into the stew or even to ensure the egg is not spoilt)
- Cover and let it simmer until the egg is done.
- Serve with any kind of pasta. bread or rice
When I began to cook this last Friday morning, even before I added the eggs, the meat with all the other ingredients began to release a wonderful aroma that I still can't believe because there is hardly anything aromatic in this recipe! 😛 But that aroma made us so hungry that once served it was all over in a blink of an eye! 🙂 Okay, that was an exaggeration! let me say it again... it was all over too soon and I didn't have to make lunch!
Now for the location,
The next country on my list is Algeria! any recommendations?
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