Tavva. My Ultimate Comfort Food.     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

 
   
     
       
         
            
            
         
       
      
       
         
            
            
         
       
      
       
         
            
            
         
       
      
       
         
            
            
         
       
     
   
     

 Home RSS      Tavva is the definition of hearty village food. The Cypriot village where my maternal grandmother was born (Lefkara) is renowned for this dish in particular. The dish itself is very basic and that’s its beauty. A one pot wonder, it’s simply lamb, potato, tomato and a healthy injection of cumin. However what makes this dish unique in my grandma’s village is that the villagers there prepare Tavva with rice as well.   Tavva is one of those dishes that I’ve grown up with and learnt to adore because it spells homemade food, that very thing I celebrate. I always have time to listen to my grandparents’ stories of what they ate when growing up in the villages, and I find myself salivating at the thought of leaving a dish like this to take on incredible flavour in the clay ovens that all villagers used back then.   If you don’t like cumin, then this dish is not for you…I’ll be honest. But if you’ve come to my site (thanks by the way) knowing what my blog and quest is all about, then I do believe that Tavva is just what you're looking for. It’s a simple dish to prepare but requires a bit of love. I think it’s best served for Sunday lunch with a fresh salad, bread and dips. Give it a go and let me know what you think.    Lefkaritikon Tavva    Serves 6-8    The beauty is within the 1 pot, so if you have a casserole dish for the hob and oven then now’s the time to use it.       Ingredients   Cumin seeds – 1 heaped tablespoon  Olive Oil  Stock – ask your butcher for the lamb bones. Otherwise 2 lamb stock cubes  Onions – 2  Lamb – 800g diced shoulder (British)  Boiling water – 1 litre  Lamb Stock Cube - 1 (optional)  Chopped tomatoes – 1 tin  Tomato purée – 3 teaspoons  Rice – 500g long grain  Salt & Pepper  Potatoes -2 medium OR 1 large  Cinnamon – for dusting        

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      Method   Rice - wash and leave to dry for later  Cumin Seeds - toast dry in your pot until lightly toasted and then grind in a pestle & mortar  Lamb Stock - (if using lamb bones for your stock), fry in the pot with a good glug of olive oil  Onions – dice and fry on a medium/low heat with the stock bones to sweat  Ground Cumin – add to the onions and fry, stirring occasionally   Lamb – add to the onions & cumin. Leave to cook for the meat to brown slightly, stirring occasionally   Water – add to the dish once the meat has lightly browned. (You can dissolve a stock cube of your choice with the liquid for added flavour)  Leave these ingredients to infuse on a low heat for approx. 30 mins with the lid partially open. This is slow cooking so you don’t want it boiling and there is no need to stir     After this time heat the oven to 180°C  Potatoes – peel and slice into thin, whole layers   Stock Bones - remove from the pot  Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Purée & Rice– add to the dish and season plenty with Salt & Pepper. Mix well   Remove the pot from the heat and layer the potato slices on top, pushing them  into the stock liquid  Cinnamon - lightly dust over the potatoes  Add the dish (covered with a lid or foil) to the oven for 50 mins     After 50 mins:  Remove lid/foil and make sure all the liquid has absorbed. (If it hasn’t, leave in the oven for longer)  Turn the grill on at the same temperature and place the uncovered dish back in for a couple of minutes to brown the potatoes  Leave the Tavva to rest, uncovered, for about 30 mins before tucking in  Kopiaste     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


    

 

   

     
       Subscribe 
        Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates.  
     

     

       

        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

      Hey guys. I'm Tim and I'm on a mission. I'm on a mission to go to the heart of communities around the Mediterranean and cook with the locals. It's how I can best combine my passion for cooking and speaking languages. By doing this I hope to feed you as well. Thank you very much for subscribing. 

Tavva. My Ultimate Comfort Food.

tavvaone
tavvatwo
tavvathree

Tavva is the definition of hearty village food. The Cypriot village where my maternal grandmother was born (Lefkara) is renowned for this dish in particular. The dish itself is very basic and that’s its beauty. A one pot wonder, it’s simply lamb, potato, tomato and a healthy injection of cumin. However what makes this dish unique in my grandma’s village is that the villagers there prepare Tavva with rice as well. 

Tavva is one of those dishes that I’ve grown up with and learnt to adore because it spells homemade food, that very thing I celebrate. I always have time to listen to my grandparents’ stories of what they ate when growing up in the villages, and I find myself salivating at the thought of leaving a dish like this to take on incredible flavour in the clay ovens that all villagers used back then. 

If you don’t like cumin, then this dish is not for you…I’ll be honest. But if you’ve come to my site (thanks by the way) knowing what my blog and quest is all about, then I do believe that Tavva is just what you're looking for. It’s a simple dish to prepare but requires a bit of love. I think it’s best served for Sunday lunch with a fresh salad, bread and dips. Give it a go and let me know what you think. 

Lefkaritikon Tavva

Serves 6-8

The beauty is within the 1 pot, so if you have a casserole dish for the hob and oven then now’s the time to use it. 

 

Ingredients

Cumin seeds – 1 heaped tablespoon

Olive Oil

Stock – ask your butcher for the lamb bones. Otherwise 2 lamb stock cubes

Onions – 2

Lamb – 800g diced shoulder (British)

Boiling water – 1 litre

Lamb Stock Cube - 1 (optional)

Chopped tomatoes – 1 tin

Tomato purée – 3 teaspoons

Rice – 500g long grain

Salt & Pepper

Potatoes -2 medium OR 1 large

Cinnamon – for dusting

 

tavvasix

Method

Rice - wash and leave to dry for later

Cumin Seeds - toast dry in your pot until lightly toasted and then grind in a pestle & mortar

Lamb Stock - (if using lamb bones for your stock), fry in the pot with a good glug of olive oil

Onions – dice and fry on a medium/low heat with the stock bones to sweat

Ground Cumin – add to the onions and fry, stirring occasionally 

Lamb – add to the onions & cumin. Leave to cook for the meat to brown slightly, stirring occasionally

Water – add to the dish once the meat has lightly browned. (You can dissolve a stock cube of your choice with the liquid for added flavour)

Leave these ingredients to infuse on a low heat for approx. 30 mins with the lid partially open. This is slow cooking so you don’t want it boiling and there is no need to stir

 

After this time heat the oven to 180°C

Potatoes – peel and slice into thin, whole layers 

Stock Bones - remove from the pot

Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Purée & Rice– add to the dish and season plenty with Salt & Pepper. Mix well 

Remove the pot from the heat and layer the potato slices on top, pushing them  into the stock liquid

Cinnamon - lightly dust over the potatoes

Add the dish (covered with a lid or foil) to the oven for 50 mins

 

After 50 mins:

Remove lid/foil and make sure all the liquid has absorbed. (If it hasn’t, leave in the oven for longer)

Turn the grill on at the same temperature and place the uncovered dish back in for a couple of minutes to brown the potatoes

Leave the Tavva to rest, uncovered, for about 30 mins before tucking in

Kopiaste

tavvafour
tavvafive