Thursday, August 16, 2012


Total 40 minutes    Prep: 10 min    Cook 30 min    Serves 8

This creamy eggplant and lamb stew dish has heavenly taste. This recipe is from traditional Turkish cuisine. The Turkish name is “Hünkar Begendi”. The name" Hünkar Begendi" literally means "The Sultan liked it".
The kitchens of the Ottoman Sultans were famed for their culinary creations to please the Sultans. This dish has been created for Sultan Murad IV 16 th Century at Topkapi Palace. The kashkaval or kasseri cheese is the original cheese for this dish. I substitute with cream cheese and four cheese mixture and got excellent results even better than my mother’s recipe.


2-pounds lamb; diced in ½ inch cubes (If you do not like lamb, substitute with beef such as tri tip steak or chicken meat)
1 large onion, diced
6 roman tomatoes (about 2 cups) peeled and finely chopped
2 roman tomatoes for garnish
½ tsp sweet Spanish paprika
3 garlic cloves, crashed
1/2 sticks unsalted butter for lamb
2 tsp dry oregano
4 fresh thyme springs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ to 1 cup hot water (If needed)
Fresh thyme, parsley for garnish

Creamy Eggplant Sauce:
Grilled eggplant (I used a jar of Sera* grilled eggplant, 23 oz)
1/2 sticks unsalted butter for creamy eggplant
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1-cup warm milk
4 oz cream cheese
 ½ cup cheese, Mexican four cheese blend or triple cheddar cheese or Kashkaval-Kasar Cheese; grated
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt,
¼ tsp black pepper
Fresh thyme springs and parsley to garnish

  •           In a large non-stick saucepan and add the lamb. Stir with a wooden spoon and cook the meat so that it lightly browns evenly on a medium heat about 10 minutes
  •           Add the onion and garlic cook about 3 minutes
  •          Then add the tomatoes and oregano, and season, to taste, with salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add paprika and oregano, stir and bring to boil, and then lower the heat cover the lid cook about 15 minutes.
  •           Keep an eye on the water during this time if there‘s no left add some hot water.  Some tomatoes packed with juice you might not need any additional water. Simmer until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

  •      Add ½ stick butter, sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves and stir it and keep warm.
  •      When  lamb is cooking prepare the creamy eggplant.
  •          To prepare the creamy eggplant, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat and add the flour, stirring well cook about 1 minutes.
  •           Add the eggplant puree and stir well.
  •           Slowly pour in the warm milk, stirring well, to make a creamy sauce.
  •           Add the grated cheese and cream cheese stir into the sauce.
  •           To serve, place some hot creamy eggplant sauce onto a serving plate make a nest with the center empty accompanied by lamb cubes in the center. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.


*  Sera Grilled eggplant in jar can be found at specialty markets.
  Grilling the eggplant gives the eggplants smoky flavor. You can grill about three pounds of eggplant if you choose to do so.


  1. Harika bir tarif vermissiniz, davetim vardi, misafirlerime hazirladim, cok begenildi. Diger tariflerinizi dort gozle bekliyoruz!

  2. I will try this recipe! looks so yummy!!!