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: September 2018 Winner

Recipe: Harsen's Island Veggie Sandwich

Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney

Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel

Cherry List

In Michigan, life is a bowl of cherries. Following is a collection of miscellany about our colorful crop.

Rocker Recipes

Metro musicians create a rhythmic balance between the kitchen and the stage

Flour Power

The French use the word “terroir” in describing how regional factors, including soil, give a wine its personality. Here in metro Detroit, can our palates discern a home-grown familiarity that tastes of the American Midwest?
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. An Animated Life
    As Rob Paulsen prepares to publish his memoir, the Hollywood veteran and voice behind some of the...
  2. An Hour With ... Teddy Dorsette III
    President, Detroit Black Deaf Advocates
  3. State of the Arts
  4. Gold Standard
    Tucked into an industrial strip in Ann Arbor, a new restaurant offers French fare
  5. A New Noodle Shop on the Block
    Midtown Detroit welcomes Urban Ramen
  6. Drink Beer, Do Good
    Local breweries and pubs jump on the charity bandwagon
  7. Business Class
    Trim suits, creative layers, and crisp white shirts - Fall's wardrobe essentials are fitting for...
  8. In Tune
    Influenced by its storied past, Willis Show Bar sets the tone for a nostalgic sound
  9. Recipe: Roast Boneless Pork Loin With Tart Cherry Chutney
    Executive chef at Ford’s Garage, Darin Thompson’s boneless pork loin marvel
  10. 13th Annual Best of Detroit Party
    On June 29, Hour Detroit brought the Best of Detroit issue to life at the 13th annual Best of...