Hünkâr beğendi

Hünkar Beğendi, the Sultan’s delight

Eggplant, the main vegetable of Turkish cuisine. As we have already said in Turkish cuisine there are numerous dishes prepared with this delicious vegetable. Vegetables later entered the Anatolian lands, but today they are almost indispensable in Turkish cuisine.
Among the most famous dishes prepared with aubergine is the “Hünkar Beğendi”, literally “The delight of the Sultan“.

The history of Hünkar Beğendi

The history of Hünkar Beğendi, or “Sultan’s Delight,” is very fascinating.
We do not know how right it is, but it has been said for many years that the Ottoman Sultan invites Emperor Napoleon to Istanbul after his return from France.

However, for various reasons Napoleon does not find the opportunity to visit Istanbul but sends Queen Eugenie as his representative. Eugenie’s chef begins to help the chefs of the Ottoman Palace with the preparation of dinner. He begins to make “bechamel”, a sauce not known in Turkish cuisine. On the other hand, the Ottoman chefs prepare roasted aubergines. One of the Ottoman cooks suddenly came up with the idea of ​​mixing the bechamel sauce with roasted aubergines. He tries the sauce already discovered and he likes it very much. Serve this sauce with sheep meat to the sultan. Sultan Abdülaziz really liked this new recipe and from then on the dish took the name of “The Sultan’s Delight”.

Turkish tzatiki
Turkish tzatiki

The Hünkar Beğendi recipe

Preparing Hünkar Beğendi is a fairly simple task but you absolutely must not make a mistake in choosing the raw materials.


– 500 grams of lamb pulp
– 2 tablespoons of butter
– 2 chopped onions
– 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
– 2 tomatoes
– 2.5 glasses of hot water
– 5 eggplants
– 1.5 tablespoons of flour
– 1.5 glass of milk
– 2 tablespoons of grated cheese.
– Salt and thyme


Preparation of Hünkar Beğendi

– Brown the onion in half the butter.
– Add the meat.
– Let it cook slowly for a few minutes.
– Add the chopped tomatoes balsamic, salt and thyme.
– Meanwhile, cook the aubergines in the oven for 20 minutes at about 200 °; then peel them and taking the pulp reduce it to pulp.
– Put the remaining butter in a saucepan and slowly add the milk and flour.
– When everything boils, add your aubergine cream and cook for about ten minutes, stirring constantly.
– Then add the cheese, always stirring.
– Place this cream on your plate and the cooked meat on top of it.

Turkish tzatiki