(Makes for 3 people)

For the meat served over eggplant puree:

Onions (1/4 cup)

Tomatoes (2 medium, ripe, peeled, finely diced, with juices or one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with its juices)

Garlic (1-2 cloves, crushed or mashed)

Tomato paste (1 1/2 tbsp)

Oregano (pinch)

Thyme (pinch)

Salt and pepper to taste

Oilve oil or butter (1/8 cup)

Beef/Lamb (1 lb, cubed into 1 inch pieces)

(Ideally, use lamb but it is also okay to use chuck stew or other beef suitable for stew)

For the eggplant puree:

Eggplants  or aubergines (1 large, 2 small)

Flour (1 tbsp)

Butter (2-3 tbsp)

Milk (1/2 cup)

Turkish kasar cheese (kasseri)

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Legend of this unforgetable eggplant dish goes like this...

Some say the celebrity dish won its distinctive name when it got the approval of one of the toughest and pickiest Sultans of the Ottoman Palace, Sultan Murad IV. Others say the legend is about an Ottoman Sultan who got lost in a forest during a hunting expedition and tasted this creative dish in a farm house which welcomed him as the night started to set in.  In “The Art of Turkish Cooking” (1), Neset Eren says we owe the name to the wife of Napolean III, Empress Eugenie. According to his version of the story, during a visit, Empress liked the eggplant puree so much that she requested the palace chef to teach the recipe of the dish to her private chef.  But the poor French chef failed in the challenging task. The Ottoman chef told him that an imperial chef relied on his feelings and senses when he cooked, and not his scales and recipes, refusing to share with him his secrets and the recipe.

Whatever story you choose to believe in, Hünkar Beğendi translated as “Your Majesty Liked it”, also known as “Sultan’s Delight”, is a sure winner at your next dinner party, and a classic from a rich culture of many delights not only for the stomach but also for your imagination.

(1) “The Art of Turkish Cooking, or Delectable Delights of Topkapi”, Neset Eren, Hippocrene Books Inc, New York, New York, 1969.

Eggplant, King of Turkish Cuisine
Appetizer, a main dish, perhaps a soup. But a dessert from eggplant? Sure, why not.
Wait and see. In the meantime, check out other eggplant recipes on EAT, from appetizers to entrees, from classic to modern all on EAT. Along the way, you will also find out how to shop, buy, choose and handle eggplants. ../1/3_Recipe__Shakshuka_%28Fried_Eggplants,_Peppers_in_Sauce%29.html