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Elbasan Tavasi

Few people know how to make this popular main dish properly. Made of lamb, it requires careful cooking.

Buy a leg of lamb weighing around two and a half kilograms, and ask your butcher to remove all the fat, and cut it into several large pieces on the bone. Place the pieces into a saucepan, and add 1 medium grated onion and 2 cups of water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, and skim. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid has evaporated. If the meat is not yet tender add a little more hot water and continue cooking.

Beat 6 eggs in a bowl, and continue to beat while adding 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. When the flour is well mixed, add 3 cups of yoghurt and beat until the mixture is creamy. Spread one third of this mixture in a shallow oven dish, and arrange the pieces of meat over the top in as single layer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoonful of dried mint over the meat and salt and black pepper to taste. Pour the remainder of the yoghurt and egg mixture over the top and bake in a medium oven (350 F-180 C) for 15 minutes until browned. Be careful not to overcook. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan, stir in 3 teaspoons of paprika or hot red pepper and pour over before serving.

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