Keshy Yena Recipe (Baked Edam Cheese with Caribbean Lamb from Dutch Curacao)

Here’s a recipe for Keshi Yena, a delicious dish from the Caribbean island of Curaçao that features baked Edam cheese filled with flavorful Caribbean-spiced lamb.


For the lamb filling:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted olives, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the cheese shell:

  • 1 large Edam cheese (about 3-4 pounds)
  • Butter, melted, for brushing

For garnish:

  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a large skillet, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the ground lamb and cook until browned, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks.
  3. Add the chopped onion, garlic, bell pepper, and tomato to the skillet with the lamb. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the raisins, olives, tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes for the flavors to meld together.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the Edam cheese by cutting off the top rind to create a hollow cavity inside the cheese, leaving about 1/4 inch of cheese on the sides and bottom.
  7. Once the lamb filling has cooled slightly, spoon it into the hollow cavity of the Edam cheese, packing it down firmly.
  8. Brush the outside of the cheese with melted butter, covering all sides.
  9. Place the cheese on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  10. Remove the cheese from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
  11. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or parsley before serving.

Keshi Yena is typically served with rice or bread and makes for a delicious and flavorful dish. Enjoy the taste of Caribbean flavors with this Dutch Curacao recipe!

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