Traditional Albanian Qervishi Recipe: A Comforting Dish to Honor Guests and Delight the Family

Empowering Survivors: Kadire Tahiraj’s Journey of Resilience and Advocacy. A Story of Strength, Solidarity, and Traditional Cuisine.

Kadire Tahiraj, the founder and driving force behind the Centre for Promotion of Women’s Rights in Drenas, central Kosovo, serves as a lifeline for survivors of sexual violence during the 1998-1999 war, offering crucial support in the challenging aftermath of conflict. Partnering with UN Women, Tahiraj’s organization provides essential financial and psychosocial assistance to survivors.
Tahiraj’s journey began in 2003 with a chance encounter at a health center, where she first connected with survivors. From these initial meetings, regular gatherings emerged where survivors bravely shared their stories. Undeterred by obstacles such as limited resources and societal stigma, Tahiraj persevered, culminating in the establishment of the center in 2013.
Survivors often confront enduring stigma and economic hardships, facing rejection from their families and communities. Tahiraj underscores the urgent need to combat prejudice and empower survivors economically. While there have been advancements, such as survivors now being eligible for state pensions, ongoing support is essential to safeguard their well-being.
Thanks to initiatives like the UN Women grants, survivors have experienced newfound independence, enabling them to provide for their families and actively engage in society. These efforts signify not only tangible progress but also a beacon of hope for survivors as they navigate the path to healing and recovery.
We had the privilege of meeting Kadire in New York for the 15th anniversary of Albanian Roots, and she is truly a remarkable woman. Just like her name, which means “brother,” Kadire embodies strength and protectiveness. She carries the pain of survivors deep in her soul, evident in the tears that sometimes fill her eyes. Yet, amidst it all, behind her warm smile and witty humor, lies a woman of incredible strength, resilience, and integrity. It’s impossible not to admire and respect her wholeheartedly.
Today at Votra Inc, for Eating Albanian, we are honored to welcome Kadire to prepare for us the Qervishi dish. This dish holds deep significance as a traditional recipe passed down through generations in her family in Kosovo.

Qervishi Dish- Kadire Tahiraj

In Albania, Qervishi holds a special place as a cherished traditional dish of Kukesi. This hearty meal is considered soul food, particularly enjoyed during the winter months for its ability to warm and satisfy. It typically incorporates two winter staples: dried meat and corn flour. While Kadire uses fresh meat in her recipe, dried meat can also be used for an authentic touch. This dish is often prepared to honor visiting guests as well, adding to its significance in Albanian culture, Kadire tells Votra Inc. for eating Albanian.


  • 1 kg beef chunks
  • 8 cups water
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup olive flour
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegeta
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • Preparation:
  • In a large cookpot or high-pressure pot, combine the beef chunks and water. Add salt and vegeta. If using a regular pot, cook for about 20 minutes; if using a high-pressure pot, cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until the meat is tender.
  • While the meat cooks, heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add corn flour and cook until it turns a deep honey-colored hue. The aroma released will be irresistible.
  • Add paprika and crushed garlic to the flour mixture and mix well.
  • Gradually add stock from the boiling pot to the flour mixture, stirring constantly. Be careful to avoid splatters and burns; pour with the hand you don’t use for mixing.
  • Once the mixture is ready, pour it into a baking pan or keep it in the same pan if using a Dutch oven. Arrange the cooked meat on top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm and enjoy this comforting and flavorful Albanian delicacy!
  • This traditional Qervishi recipe is a hearty and satisfying dish perfect for honoring guests and delighting your family.
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