(Hunkar Begendi - Ottoman Kitchen)
750 gr boneless lamb stew chunks
2 cups water
1 onion, sliced
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tbsp crushed tomato
1 kg eggplant
3 cups water with juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp mozzarella, grated
First cook lamb with 2 cups of water. While cooking, remove the foam from surface as it forms. When there is little water left, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. Add the cubanelle pepper, tomato, crushed tomato, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes on medium-low heat. Keep an eye on the water during this time, if there's none left, add a bit more.
Heat the oven on broil. Before putting in the oven, make holes on the eggplants with a fork so that it will soften and cook better. Then place on the tray and roast for about 35 minutes, or until the eggplants soften. Then, peel the eggplants with a knife (picture) and cut off the tops (picture). Remove any hard and large pulp inside the eggplants. Put the water with lemon juice and salt in a large bowl. Soak the eggplants in it, so that their colour won't be dark later. Drain and squeeze with your palms after a few minutes.
Melt the butter in a large pot, then add flour, salt and pepper (picture). Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until blended well. Put in the eggplants (picture) and mash with a fork (picture). Slowly pour in the milk and beat with a small egg beater (picture). Make sure there are no big eggplant pieces left. Pour in the mozzarella and beat again (picture).
Place the mashed eggplants on a serving dish with the center empty as shown here. Put the lamb in the center. Serve while still warm.
This recipe is one of the most popular and traditional dishes in Turkish cuisine. The name, "Hunkar Begendi", literally means "The Sultan liked it".
Labels: Lamb- Beef -Veal