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Hünkâr Beğendili ©

April 24, 2014






Istanbul and  Turkish Cuisine !



Istanbul ©

The Blue Mosque.

Istanbul ©

The gardens of the Topkapi Palace……



Sharing with you one of my favourite recipes!

* Lesson in this recipe : Making a ‘white sauce.’






Hünkâr Beğendili.


Hünkâr Beğendili ©


Moderately Easy





Preparation Time  1 hour





6 Persons



Ingredients : Aubergine Purée

4-6 large aubergines

1 tbs butter

2 tbs flour

300 ml milk

120 g strong cheese, cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

(A dash of vinegar or lemon juice for soaking aubergines.)



1 kilo steak cut into 2 cm cubes

3 tbs olive oil

2 large onions finely grated

5 Cloves garlic pressed

2 tbs butter

5 fresh tomatoes skinned and chopped or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 green chilli kept whole

1 Stick of Cinnamon

6  Allspice berries

2 tbs red wine

1 tsp sugar

a few leaves of fresh Oregano or 1/2 tsp dried

1 tbs flour

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Parsley to garnish


Method : Aubergine Purée

1. Pre-heat oven to 200.C. Wash aubergines, pierce with knife in 2-3 places and place in roasting tin, lined with tin foil. Place in oven, near the top and roast. Once charred, turn over and char on the other side. This will take about half an hour.

2. Remove from oven, place in large plastic bag, or seal in large bowl and leave to sweat for 10 minutes.

3. Peel skin off carefully, taking care to remove any “charred flecks” and place aubergine in a bowl of water, to which you have added a little vinegar. ( The vinegar stops the aubergine discolouring, you can also use lemon juice.) Once all your aubergines are peeled, place in colander to drain and roughly chop, or place in blender and blend until smooth.

4. Once all the aubergines are peeled, proceed to making your white sauce.

5. For white sauce, melt butter in medium sized saucepan, over medium heat, ( do not brown.) As soon a butter is melted, add flour and using a whisk, stir until flour becomes frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add cold milk “all at once,” stirring continuously until it thickens. ( If you don’t stir continuously, the sauce may go lumpy.) Boil for 1 minute to cook flour and remove from the heat. Season and add grated cheese. This will be a thick sauce.

6. Add aubergine to white sauce and beat well, until smooth. Heat through gently, just before serving.( Do not boil or cheese will go stringy!!!)

*** This aubergine purée is always best made and eaten on the same day.

**** Follow the making of the ‘white sauce’ carefully, it is important that the milk is cold and added all in one go and that you stir until it thickens.



First gather together all your ingredients.

1. Have your butcher give you nice tender steak, cut into small 2-3 cm cubes, any sinew and gristle removed!

2. Peel onions and garlic and chop in blender, until smooth, or grate on fine holes of cheese grater.

3. In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter and gently fry onions and garlic over a medium heat, so as to cook them, but not brown them. This will take at least 15 minutes, as you want to insure they are well cooked. ( There is nothing worse than raw crunchy onion in a sauce!)

4.Once the onions and garlic are cooked, add  the spices, the puréed tomatoes, sugar, oregano, seasoning and the chilli and leave  your tomato sauce to simmer gently.

5. Taking another large saucepan, add olive oil, heat over a medium heat and add the meat. Cook until it is slightly browned on all sides.

6. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and reserve. To the oil and juices the meat has been cooking in, add 1 tbs flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the wine, stirring with a whisk and cook for two minutes. Add the tomato sauce you have prepared above and mix well with a whisk. Now add reserved meat, check seasoning and leave to simmer for 1/2 an hour, or until meat is tender. The sauce should be thick, but if at any point the sauce looks like sticking to the bottom of your saucepan, just add a couple of tbs of water.

7. Check seasoning again, remove chilli pepper and serve piping hot. Place a large spoonful of aubergine purée in the center of your  pre-heated plates and by making a small well with your spoon, fill the well with a spoonful of cubed meat. Garnish with a leaf of parsley.


***** Aubergines are used a lot in Turkish cooking and this purée of aubergines really is excellent and goes perfectly with the meat in its rich sauce.

Important : Always  try a little of the cooked aubergine, because sometimes towards the end of the summer some aubergines become bitter, in which case discard.




Hünkâr Beğendili ©





Making Aubergine Purée:








Making The White Sauce For The Aubergine Purée :

Hünkâr Beğendili ©

Aubergine Purée.

Preparation Of The Meat :

Hünkâr Beğendili ©

Final Result.

Hünkâr Beğendili ©

The two combined!

…..and just a few more pictures of  things to see in Istanbul!

Istanbul ©

Spice Bazaar!

Istanbul ©

Istanbul ©

Turkish Delight or rahat-ul hulküm.

Istanbul ©

Istanbul ©

Dried Fruit.

Istanbul ©

The Cisterns.

Istanbul ©

The tiles in the Harem of the Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul ©

The Stained Glass Windows In The Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul ©

The Tulips In The  Gardens Of The Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul ©

The View Going Along The Bosporus.

Istanbul ©

The whole city in flower…..every where you looked!

Istanbul ©

The “Spring Tulip Festival,” that lined  “all” the avenues!!!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different blog…..

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    November 12, 2014 12:37 am

    One of my faves, too, Jane! Thank you for the recipe and for the beautiful photos


  2. November 13, 2015 5:35 pm

    Reblogged this on What's Cooking In Jane's Kitchen and commented:

    As winter approaches this is an excellent recipe to keep in mind and some pictures of beautiful Istanbul, to think about visiting in the spring time!


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