Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sultan's Pleasure

(Hunkar Begendi - Ottoman Kitchen)

Hunkar Begendi - click to enlarge
Lamb ingredients:
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

Eggplant ingredients:
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".



At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur, I usually do not put cheese in this, but I bet it makes it stringy! Good idea.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

I use cheese to remove the flavor of flour. But as you said it makes it stringy. you may give it a try this way.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it would be difficult to make and had a feeling it wouldn't be too great but I was wrong on both counts.

At 8:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this same dish with a slightly different twist using my family's Dagestani Republika recipes...

Instead of parmesan cheese I mixed in Kefalo and kefatori cheeses. I made a dish using beef cubes, tomatos, apricots, raisins, onions, sumaq, cayyenne, olivie oil, lemon juice, cumin, tumeric, salt, and pepper... Our food is similar to Turkish but has Persian/Russian/CauCaus influences.

At 10:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I used parmesan cheese, instead of cheddar, with the eggplant, as well as extra peppers (bell + anaheim) in the stew, which i also thickened using a bit of flour. This was *great*. New favourite! Thanks for the awsome recipe, Binnur.

At 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Binnur, thanks for the recipe. One question: do you remove the seeds inside the eggplant after you roast and peel them?

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Gulay,
Yes, after roasting and peeling, remove any hard and large seeds from inside the eggplants.
Take care,

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Binnur!

Great recipes, and great site! :)
Is this dish served just by itself or with something like bread or rice..
Also is there any vegetarian version of it?
Thank you. :)
Take care

At 6:55 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Thank you:) We Turks have almost every dishes (especially with the juice) with Turkish bread:) Sultan's Pleasure can be serve with lamb or chicken cubs. If you don't cook beef or lamb it is a vegetarian dish:)
Take care,

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your site and was surfing when I found this. My husband saw this and says he loves it. He has only been in Canada for 2 months. So with small kitchen I made this and WOW, it ROCKS! Have saved your site and will definitely be coming back!

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, you can put the eggplant without making holes, straight on the fire of the stove and turn it every while until soft then peel it and so on.. This will give a great taste to the eggplant (smoked taste). Enjoy.

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

The recipe says to preheat the oven on broil, and then to roast the eggplants. Do you mean to broil them (oven door open), turning them to char the skin all over, or to roast them (oven door closed)? If roasting, what temperature should they be roasted at?


At 9:34 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Dan,
When you broil the eggplant in the oven they will be also roasted:) So, set the oven to broil and broil the eggplants and do not leave the oven door open, it should be closed. Just one or two times open the oven door, turn the eggplant and close the oven door again:)
For your information, the oven door should always be closed when the temperature is set to heat.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Merhaba Binnur - Is this also called, Imam Bayildi? Imam Fainted. Or do you have another recipe for that one? It is my favorite grilled with that smokey taste. I like bread or pilaf with it.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Matthew,

Imam bayildi is a vegetarian dish. I've already posted it under the "Olive Oil Dishes" section. Here is the link;

Saturday, March 18, 2006
The Imam Fainted (Eggplant with Veggie Filling) (Imam Bayildi)

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mozzerella is not the right cheese. a sheep cheese would be used in Turkey

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Mozzarella is perfect for Sultan's Pleasure:) I used to use Kasar cheese for it which is made from sheep and cow milk...


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