Tag Archives: eggplant Turkish Cuisine

Seyfi Cooks – Hūnkar Beğendi (Sultan’s Delight)


Did you know, I’m married to a pretty amazing guy.

I’ve truly never met anyone like him in my life. One of the things I love most about him is how he is always trying to improve himself, never happy with how he is, he always wants to learn, do or be something more.

Learn a new language, get a second masters degree, learn to play guitar, keep fit, and now, his newest adventure, cooking.

Seyfi grew up in a pretty typical Turkish home, mom cooked, dad and kids ate. In fact, I don’t think Seyfi was really even allowed to be in the kitchen.

When we met, cooking was not a skill that he possessed, and to be honest, that was fine by me. I like preparing meals for my man, showing him how much I love him with all the thought and care I put into the things we ate.

Then we had a baby, and then another one, and although I can still keep up with all the daily cooking, I think Seyfi wants to give me a bit of a break, so he has taken up cooking at the weekends, and it has been a big help.

He even does the dishes!

Hünkar Beğendi is a pretty famous Turkish dish, and it isn’t that easy to make, but boy, can Seyfi ever make it well!

First, let me tell you, it involves eggplant, before your run away screaming (or calling it ‘crap plant’ like my brother does), the eggplant tastes so good in this dish, that if I hadn’t told you it was there, you wouldn’t have even known it!

Trust me!

So here’s the recipe, if you can, grill the eggplants on a barbecue, the smokey taste makes it even better!

Hūnkar Beğendi

500 grams lamb, cubed
5 Tbsp oil
2 tomatoes, cubed
4 eggplants
2 onions, chopped
2 heaping Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
2 cups kaşar cheese, grated (cheddar can also work)
Salt
1 lemon’s juice

Grill the eggplant over a barbecue, gas stove top, or in your oven, until soft. Allow to cool and peel, and smush, in a bowl, add the juice of one lemon and let it rest.
In a pan, sauté the lamb in three tbsps of oil, when browned, add the tomatoes and onions until all is soft.
In a separate pot, heat the last two Tbsps of oil, add the flour, and allow to brown, add the milk, slowly, until it starts to thicken.
Drain any extra liquid off the eggplant and add to the milk mixture. Mixing well so that it stays smooth.
Add the cheese, and let it melt, it should be thick, and bubbling.

To serve, put a generous spoonful of the eggplant purée in the middle of the plate, and then top with the lamb.

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