A speciality of Gjirokastra, qifqi are rice balls (similar to Italian Arancini) that are flavoured with herbs and bound together with eggs. Easy to make, qifqi are the perfect vegetarian snack, especially when dipped in ajvar (a sauce made from roasted capsicum).

Qifqi Recipe


Makes: 26


1 cup medium-grain rice

4 eggs

1tsp dried mint

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil spray


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover and steam until the rice has absorbed all of the water (about 15 minutes). Leave to cool at room temperature.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs with the mint and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the rice and mix together until the rice is coated with egg mixture.
  4. Heat a moulded pan (if you have a Danish pancake pan, you can use this. Otherwise, a frying pan will work fine), and lightly spray with olive oil. If using a moulded pan, fill each cavity with rice.
  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 – 10 minutes on each side, until rice balls are golden and crispy.
  6. Serve with ajvar or alongside a salad & enjoy!

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