If you’ve ever wanted to try a dish that was fit for royalty, look no further than Hunkar Begendi, a traditional Turkish delight. This creamy, savory dish is a favorite of the sultans and has been enjoyed by many throughout Turkey for centuries. Hunkar Begendi is made from eggplant, butter or margarine, milk, and flour. Let’s take a closer look at this classic Turkish food.

What Is Hunkar Begendi?

Hunkar Begendi an Authentic Turkish Food
Hunkar Begendi an Authentic Turkish Food

Hunkar Begendi is an Ottoman-era dish that was popularized by the royal kitchen of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. The name itself translates to “Sultan’s Delight”—and for a good reason! It combines tender eggplant with a creamy white sauce that can be served on its own or as an accompaniment to grilled meats like lamb or beef. The dish is often served with yogurt and some parsley sprigs for garnish.

How to Make Hunkar Begendi

Making Hunkar Begendi is pretty simple. It just requires a little bit of patience and time since the eggplant needs to be cooked thoroughly before it can be combined with other ingredients. 

Here’s how to make this delicious dish: Peel and cut one large eggplant into cubes, then set aside. Heat butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium heat until melted, then add in the diced eggplant cubes and stir until they are softened and lightly browned (about 8-10 minutes). Once the eggplant cubes have softened, add milk, flour, salt, pepper, oregano, and nutmeg to the skillet, then cook over low heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Serve hot or cold on its own or with grilled meats like lamb kebabs.

Variations of Hunkar Begendi

Hunkar Begendi a Traditional Turkish Dish
Hunkar Begendi a Traditional Turkish Dish

In addition to the classic version of this dish, there are several variations you can try depending on your tastes. For example, some recipes call for adding cheddar cheese to add more flavor and cream cheese for extra creaminess. You can also use different vegetables, such as zucchini or carrots, instead of eggplant if desired. Some people also serve their Hunkar Begendi with garlic yogurt sauce for added zest!

Final Thoughts:

Hunkar Begendi is a classic Turkish delight fit for royalty—but anyone can enjoy it! This creamy eggplant dish is sure to please vegetarians and meat eaters, thanks to its versatile ingredients list and easy preparation. So whether you make it at home or order it at a restaurant while traveling through Turkey – keep an eye out for this flavorful sultan’s favorite!

Hunkar Begendi Recipe: BBC.co.uk


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