Sultan’s Delight

Puréed eggplant with lamb or veal is a Turkish delicacy dating back hundreds of years


Published:

Eggplant features very prominently in Turkish cuisine, says Ayse Uras of Ayse’s Café in Ann Arbor (not far from the North Campus of the University of Michigan), where she serves a Turkish menu. “I [even] had an eggplant dessert recently [in Turkey],” she says.

“This particular dish has a very unique way of serving eggplant with lamb,” she adds. When Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel show visited Istanbul, he was treated to a home-cooked meal, which included Sultan’s Delight, a recipe that dates back possibly as far as the 17th century.

Sultan’s Delight  (Hünkar Begendi) (Serves 4)

Eggplant purée:
2 large, fresh eggplants (should be
a shiny purple with a green top and feel slightly soft)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup kasseri (or mozzarella)
cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Meat:
1-1/2 pound lamb or veal cut into
1-inch (or smaller) cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1 large cooking onion, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt, pepper, and thyme, to taste
1 cup (approximately) hot water

Roast eggplants on the grill or on top of a gas range until soft and the skin is charred and black. (Eggplants also can be baked in a 400-degree oven 15-20 minutes, or until soft. Peel the skin or cut each eggplant lengthwise in 2 pieces and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add lemon juice immediately to prevent discoloration. Mash mixture well with a fork. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add flour, and cook the mixture until it turns light golden brown. Add the puréed eggplant and stir for 5 minutes. Add the milk and cook 5 minutes. Add cheese, salt, and pepper and cook until cheese melts.

Place meat, butter, and onion in a pan and sauté over medium heat about 10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Cook another 5 minutes. Pour a cup of hot water into the pot and cook until meat is done. Add a little more hot water if necessary. Meat should be a little juicy.

Serving: Divide eggplant purée among 4 plates and spread it. Put the meat in the center of the eggplant and garnish with fresh parsley.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Shared Plates: November 2018 Winner

Recipe: Apple Cider Mill Donut Bread Pudding

Cocktail Recipe: Toddy Incarnata

Food Recipe: Barbecue Mac & Cheese

Vast Kitchen and Bar executive chef, Jordan Gillis, upgrades the comfort staple

Cocktail Recipe: Casa del Cider

Shared Plates: October 2018 Winner

Recipe: Apple Pie Overnight Oats
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Best Dressed 2018
    Pulling back the curtain on this year’s selection of the region’s most stylish denizens
  2. Keeping Up with Sheefy McFly
    The multitalented visual artist and musician is ubiquitous in the Motor City
  3. Cocktail Recipe: Casa del Cider
  4. Designer Taste
    A quaint Ferndale shop sells exotic cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie
  5. Excellence in Care: Beaumont Health
    Hour Detroit presented Beaumont Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this extraordinary...
  6. Gathering Spot
    Eastern Market restaurant finds its groove after a rocky beginning
  7. The Way It Was
    Better Made Snack Foods, 1971
  8. Food Recipe: Barbecue Mac & Cheese
    Vast Kitchen and Bar executive chef, Jordan Gillis, upgrades the comfort staple
  9. Sanctuary for the Senses
    Castalia in Midtown offers a cocktail experience unlike any other
  10. Excellence in Care: St. Joseph Mercy Health
    Hour Detroit presented St. Joseph Mercy Health with an Excellence in Care Award for this...