Mighty empires often had interestingly distinctive cultures backing them up, and their unique cuisine within them. Sometimes the dishes in a certain cuisine are folk favorites, and some of them make their appearance by being beside history when it’s being made. Hunkar Begendi or to roughly translate; “The Sovereign/Sultan Loves It”, is such a historical dish. It is said that Hunkar Begendi was first made for the arrival of a famous French Queen during the reign of the Ottoman Empire Sultan Abdulaziz. The dish was prepared with inspirations from French cuisine, as a French chef brought by the Queen worked alongside an Ottoman chef to add bechamel sauce to his original recipe. Only after tasting Hunkar Begendi, the Sultan seemed to be pleased with the selection of the dinner dish, thus, there comes its name.
The recipe starts with a delicious base of spicy eggplants that are smoked, grilled, then pureed, and stirred with milk, melted butter, and roasted flour. Afterward, rested and slowly marinated lamb or cattle meat is nicely diced, and sauteed with fresh butter, caramelized onions, and exotic herbs, and placed upon the base. For a final touch, it is traditionally garnished with grilled sweet peppers and tomatoes. We are certain that you will fall in love with this majestic Turkish dish just as the Sultans once did.
We at Turkish Food Basket make all of our Turkish dishes and Hunkar Begendis with fresh, daily ingredients that will make sure to satisfy you and your guests’ taste buds on all occasions. We use grass-fed cattle meat acquired from trusted farmers, daily natural vegetable oils, fresh vegetables from regional suppliers along with the highest quality of spices and sauces prepared by our veteran Turkish chefs who have years of experience. All that so you can pleasantly enjoy our authentic Turkish dishes with your loved ones.