Hunkar Begendi (Turkish Eggplant (Aubergine) Cream)

Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

This literally translates as 'the Sultan's Delight', and it is that! The first time I had it, I fell in love. Mild, rich, buttery - it perfectly complemented the braised beef (in tomato sauce) that it was meant to accompany. This is a very subtle dish. If you want FLAVOUR, look elsewhere. This is flavourful in a more refined way, and also a lesson to our overly-spiced palates.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Grill eggplants whole without peeling them by holding over a flame and turning slowly, or prick skin in several places and set in hot oven.
  2. When the skin begins to break and the inside pulp feels soft, slip off the skin; discard sacs containing seeds and chop up pulp; put pulp in a saucepan.
  3. Mix lemon juice with pulp and simmer until very soft, stirring often (10-15 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, melt butter, add flour to it and allow flour to brown.
  5. Beat the butter and flour mixture into the eggplant.
  6. Slowly add several tablespoons of hot milk and the nutmeg and continue beating until mixture resembles mashed potatoes.
  7. Lastly add several tablespoons of grated cheese and cook several minutes more.
  8. Serve immediately.


Most Helpful

I loved this. I'm not real experienced with eggplant and had a diffcult time getting the seeds out so half the seeds stayed which changed the texture of the dish a little but I didn't mind. Thanks for the great recipe.

Queen Dana December 11, 2009

Wow. This is one of those 10 star recipes that I wonder how I ever lived without before tasting it for the first time this evening. I halved the recipe to serve with evelyn's Das Kebap recipe and I wish I had made the entire amount because it was SUBLIME indeed! I roasted my eggplant in the oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees and let it cool before peeling. After I seeded the eggplant I whirred it in the blender for a few seconds before cooking it on the stovetop. The end result was buttery, creamy, slightly smoky, and just a beautiful clean eggplant flavor. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic recipe, that I had never tried or heard of before this week, but I know we will absolutely be making again.

shimmerchk January 11, 2006

This is absolutely fabulous. I've just finished making it and had to stop myself from eating it before I served dinner. I absolutely understand why the sultan was delighted. The only thing I did was to use my immersion blender to make the mixture totally smooth. I am so excited--because I am thinking about not just how good this will be as an accompniament to my dinner, but how this wonderful sort of eggplant custard can be used in other things--like choux puffs flavored with kasseri cheese and filled with this eggplant. What a great recipe! Thank you.

Chef Kate January 09, 2005

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