Liver Spiced with Cumin

Arnavut ciğeri


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Directly translated as ‘Albanian liver’, this tender dish consists of liver cut into small cubes or long strips, spiced with cumin and kırmızı biber, and served hot or cold on a bed of sliced red onion. This method of cooking liver can be traced all the way up to Venice and Vienna. It is a popular meze and main-course dish in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, and a particularly spicy version is served in Adana.


  • 1 lb/450 g lambs’ liver
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon kırmızı biber, ground or crushed
  • 2 red onions, finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • small bunch of fresh parsley and dill, chopped


  • Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and ducts of the liver and cut it into thin strips or small cubes. Sprinkle the flour and kırmızı biber over it, and toss well.
  • Lay the onions on a serving dish. Sauté the garlic and cumin seeds lightly in the oil. Add the liver and fry quickly, turning it over and over. At the last minute, sprinkle with salt, toss in the herbs, then spoon the liver on to the bed of onions.
  • Serve with thick yogurt and wedges of lemon.