Hünkar Beğendi

This is one of my favorite Turkish dishes.  I love making it as much as I love eating it!

The recipe below can be made vegetarian or carnivore friendly.  Below is the lamb version.  However, my husband says he actually prefers the vegetarian version, with the chipotle flavor. 

hunkar

Eggplant Purée

4 pounds of roasted eggplant
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated aged cheddar or  parmesan
Salt
Pepper

Roast the eggplant, poke holes in the eggplant and either roast in oven over broiler or on stovetop over open flame-until eggplants are soft.  Peel and mash (or purée)  with lemon juice.  Set aside.

Melt the butter, add flour, stir roux on low heat until combined.  Add min and salt and pepper, simmer for five minutes.  Add eggplant, stir well, then add cheese.  Stir well again.

Stew (Carnivore and Vegetarian)

1 pound of boneless lamb stew chunks (Vegetarian:Instead of lamb use 1 1/2 cups of green lentils)
2 cups water
1 onion, sliced
3 green peppers, chopped
3 tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tbsp tomato paste
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

For vegetarian stew add a little chipotle chili for more body, otherwise the stew can be weak when paired with the eggplant purée. 

Sauté onions in olive oil, then add the meat.  (For Vegetarian: add washed lentils and more water to accommodate lentils.) Cook until browned, add the peppers and sauté for several minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste and hot water.  Let simmer for an hour to and hour and a half, until meat is tender.  You may need to add more water.

To Assemble:

Make a base with the eggplant purée and spoon the stew on top.  It can be served family style in a large dish (my preference) or onto each plate.  This dish is lovely as it can be made ahead of time and heated up and assembled later. 

2 thoughts on “Hünkar Beğendi

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