Truth, Inspiration, Hope.

Culinary Delights: Learn How to Make This Delicious Albanian Dish Using Cheap and Easy Ingredients

Published: February 22, 2024
Arnavut ciğeri, or Albanian liver, is a delectably pan-fried delicacy that bursts with the vibrant flavors of crushed red pepper flakes and other aromatic spices. (Image: Manos Angelakis/LuxuryWeb Magazine)

Published with permission from LuxuryWeb Magazine

Embarking on this culinary journey, I must confess that fried liver and onions typically do not appeal to my palate. However, there exists a classic Ottoman appetizer that has captivated my taste buds and earned my unwavering adoration. Whenever I find myself in a Turkish restaurant that offers it, whether as part of a meze assortment or as a standalone main dish, I simply cannot resist. Naturally, I have taken to preparing this delightful dish in the comfort of my own kitchen.

Arnavut ciğeri, or Albanian liver, is a pan-fried delicacy that bursts with the vibrant flavors of crushed red pepper flakes and other aromatic spices. It is elegantly paired with a refreshing salad of red onion and parsley, subtly enhanced with the tang of sumac. Though traditionally enjoyed as a meze, I find it satisfying enough to serve as a main course.

The conventional recipe opts for lamb’s liver, but I have a personal preference for beef liver — attributing to its robust flavor and the convenience of availability at my local supermarket.

(Image: Manos Angelakis/LuxuryWeb Magazine)

The following is my mother’s cherished recipe, which I faithfully recreate, occasionally infusing it with my own twists. For instance, I might incorporate thin slices of habanero in place of the traditional Turkish long hot peppers, or perhaps add tomato wedges for a variation.

At times, my wife introduces her own spin by gently sautéing white onions with slices of cremini mushrooms, opting for cilantro over flat-leaf parsley as a garnish, and incorporating sumac directly into the flour and spice mixture. Here is the full recipe for Arnavut ciğeri:


  • 1 lb. liver, cut into bite-sized pieces for meze or strips for a main course.
  • 1 large red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground sumac
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed chili pepper flakes or spicy smoked paprika
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oil for frying (Traditionally olive oil is used in Turkey and Greece, but I prefer canola)
  • Lemon wedges, at least one per diner
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Begin with the salad. Massage 1 or 2 tsp of sea salt into the onion slices to soften and enhance their flavor. Mix in the parsley, sumac, and a pinch of black pepper. Arrange this salad on a serving dish and set it aside.
  2. Prepare the liver by removing any skin or ducts, then slice it into the desired pieces. On a plate, combine the flour, 2/3 tsp sea salt, paprika, and chili pepper flakes or spicy paprika. Coat the liver pieces thoroughly in this mixture.
  3. In a heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Fry the liver pieces for 4-5 minutes until they are crisply browned on the outside yet remain tender and moist inside. Transfer the liver to a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  4. Before assembling, drain any excess liquid from the salad. Place the fried liver atop a platter and cover it with the salad. Serve this dish warm, accompanied by a lemon wedge for each guest to squeeze over their serving. The zest of fresh lemon not only adds a refreshing taste but also beautifully complements the flavors of the onion and parsley or cilantro salad.

Visit LuxuryWeb Magazine to see the original article and more.