Arnavut Ciğeri or Albania Liver is a popular meze dish or main meal in Turkey. Liver spiced with cumin and red pepper flakes, traditionally served on a plate of red onions. This liver dish can be found in many of the countries that where once part of the Ottoman empire, including Albania, Vienna and Venice!
As with many of the dishes I tend to make I first learn them from my in laws and this one is no different.
This time my Sister in Laws husband taught me this dish. He likes to cook his on the BBQ and cooking the liver for some time until it is almost chewy, its a lovely dish and one that even if you are not keen on liver may just convert you.
Traditionally this dish is made using Lambs liver its has a nice mild flavour and more meaty liver. In the picture I have here I used chicken liver as it was a last minute decision during Kurban Bayram to make the dish as a surprise to my husband, I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it did and so I can now also recommend to use chicken liver to make this dish.
Ingredients for Arnavut Ciğeri or Albania Liver
450 grams, lamb or chicken liver
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tsp red pepper flakes or more if you like it spicy
2 Onions finely sliced in half moon shapes (red onion preferable, but not necessary)
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tsp Cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
small bunch of parsley to garnish.
Instructions for Arnavut Ciğeri or Albania Liver
Prepare your liver, you can get your butcher to remove the ducts and skin and clean up the liver for you if you like.
Cut your liver in to thin strips or cubes.
Something I was taught to do and something I always do with liver, is I like to leave it to soak in some milk before cooking the liver. It cleans the liver and also softens the flavour of the liver. I do this with all liver I use. But this is optional.
Mix the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper with the flour and toss your liver in the flour.
Place your onions on a serving dish.
In a frying pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly fry your cumin and garlic before tossing in your liver and and add in some salt.
As per my Brother in Laws instructions I leave mine to cook well, so it takes on a more meaty texture. But you must keep turning the liver over so it doesn’t burn and keeps a nice colour.
Lay the the cooked liver over the bed of onion and sprinkle of the chopped parsley. Serve with thick suzme yoghurt and lemon wedges.
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