What Is? Hünkar Beğendi

 Hünkar Beğendi is an Ottoman dish of stewed meat served on a bed of Patlıcan Közde, grilled and mashed eggplant.

The name of this dish has a story behind it. In 1869, Sultan Abdülaziz invited Empress Eugénie of France to visit Istanbul. In her honor, the sultan ordered his chefs to create a special dish. After tasting many of the dishes that his chefs prepared, this quickly became his favorite. ‘Hünkar beğendi’ (‘The sultan liked it’) was thus served to the Empress. Its main ingredient is eggplant. Roasted over an open flame until its skin is scorched, the skin is then removed and the pith pureed. Traditionally, the puree is served with stewed meat.

Try Hünkar Beğendi at Paşazade Restaurant in Sirkeci:

View Paşazade Ottoman Cuisine in a larger map

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