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Hünkar Beğendi

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Hünkar Beğendi meaning also 'Turkish Sultan's delight' is lamb stew eaten with mashed eggplant.


Two stories exist, telling the history of this famous Turkish dish. One tells that it was created specially for Sultan Murad IV, who lived in the 17th century, and he liked it much. The second version is that Hünkar Beğendi was served for the wife of Napoleon III in the palace of Sultan Abdülaziz in the end of the 19th century, and Empress Eugene liked the dish so much that she asked for the recipe.


The classical ingredients used for the dish preparation are lamb, chopped onion, tomatoes, butter, tomato paste, eggplant, cheese (kashkavak or parmesan), milk and lemon juice. The onions are sauteed in a pot with heated butter, then meat, tomatoes, and tomato paste are added and simmered with water until meat is soft. Meanwhile, the eggplant is baked until soft, cooled, peeled and mashed with lemon juice. Finally the puree is added to the pot with melted butter mixed with flour, milk and cheese, and left to simmer for several minutes.

The puree is placed on a serving plate and topped with lamb stew. It is served hot and garnished with chopped parsley.

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Sultan's Delight (Hünkar Beğendi),

Hunkar Begendi (Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Cream),

Sultan's Delight (Eggplant Puree with Cheese),