Hunkar begendi

Hunkar begendi
4.1/5 rating (21 votes)

  • Ready in: 60'
  • Serves: 6
  • Complexity: medium


  • lamb or veal: 1 ½ kilo from the leg, cut into small cubes
  • tomatoes: 3 peeled and pureed
  • onions: 2 finely chopped
  • butter: 2 tbs
  • salt : a bit
  • pepper: freshly ground
  • sugar: a bit
  • For the aubergine puree
  • aubergines: 3 large
  • butter: 2 tbs.
  • flour: 2 tbs
  • milk : 250 ml
  • cream: 3 tbs. (optional)
  • kefalotyri: 120 gr.
  • graviera: 100 gr.
  • nutmeg: a bit
  • salt: a bit
  • pepper: freshly ground


  1. Sauté the onions in the butter. Add the meat and stir so that all of the pieces brown. Pour in the tomato puree, 1 ½ cup of water and salt, pepper and sugar and cook over a medium heat until it is tender and has some sauce left.

  2. Grate the cheeses coarsely on a box grater. In the meantime, prepare the aubergine puree as follows: grill the aubergines whole over charcoal or over an open flame. Heat the butter in a pot and add flour. Mix well. Pour in the milk and continue to stir so that the mixture does not form lumps. When the sauce has thickened, add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add cream (optional) and continue to stir.

  3. When the aubergines are ready, peel and remove seeds. Chop the flesh with a stainless steel knife until they are almost pureed, drain and add to the sauce. Stir briskly with a wooden spoon until the mixture blends and becomes a puree. Add the graviera and serve with the meat. Sprinkle with kefalotyri. 


This is a meat (lamb or veal) in a tomato sauce served with aubergine puree. In Turkish, it means “the Sultan’s delight”. Although it is a complicated dish, it is always cooked on festive occasions by the Greeks of Constantinople.