Hunkar Begendi

Turkish Hunkar Begendi




Yield 4-6 people


For the lamb stew

For the eggplant puree


Preparing the lamb stew

  1. Season the lamb cubes with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and sear the lamb
  3. Add the sliced onions and slowly caramelize
  4. Add garlic and chopped peppers
  5. Add  the tomato paste and the pepper paste
  6. Add the stock and deglaze the pan, scraping off all those burnt bits from the bottom to release the flavor.
  7. Cover and simmer for about an hour or until the meat is cooked to your desired tenderness

Preparing the eggplant puree

  1. Set the eggplants over an open flame on your gas burner until each one gets an even char on the skin. Keep turning with tongs to prevent burning the flesh. This should only take a few minutes. If you have an electric oven, place eggplants about 3 inches under the broiler and let them char this way. Turn every 20 minutes. This should take about an hour.
  2. Let the eggplants cool and peel them.
  3. Mash the eggplants with a fork.
  4. Melt the butter in a pot.
  5. Dust in the flour and let it roast a bit in the butter.
  6. Stir in COLD milk and simmer until thick.
  7. Fold in the mashed eggplants.
  8. Dust in some nutmeg and fresh cheese
  9. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

Serving the Hunkar Beğendi

  1. Spread a couple of scoops of the eggplant puree around a plate.
  2. Spoon a helping of the lamb stew into the centre of the puree.
  3. Sprinkle with a handful of roughly chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish.

Recipe by Arousing Appetites: Home to the Serious Cook at