Hunkar begendi -

Hunkar begendi

By now you must have noticed my love for Turkish food. While there are many Turkish recipes that I love, this recipe for hunkar begendi is a real gem.

When I studied in Istanbul this was my favourite dish and I often ate it in one of the restaurants on our campus. Creamy eggplant puree with meat in a sauce in the middle.

When I saw a picture of this dish a while ago I immediately saved the picture to remind me to make it soon. Not long after that, my Turkish friend told me that she made hunkar Begendi.

When she explained to me how she prepared it and what it tasted like, we were both bouncing around on the couch in excitement.

I immediately made the recipe afterwards. And wów it is as good as I remembered. Hunkar begendi means, freely translated: the Sultan liked it.

The Turks give funny names to their dishes. Another famous dish is Imam Bayildi, which means the imam who fell/fainted.

The Turks mostly use beef or lamb meat for this recipe. I, as a poor ex-student, choose cubes of pork meat (I know that is not done for a Turkish dish, but for me it tasted good).

A bowl with low FODMAP hunkar begendi with parsley on top
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Low FODMAP Hunkar begendi

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  • Author: Karlijn
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Servings: 2 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Low FODMAP hunkar begendi. Creamy eggplant puree with a meat tomato sauce in the middle. Gluten-free and low lactose


  • 200 g pork meat/beef or lamb meat
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 Turkish green pepper (you find this in Turkish supermarkets)
  • 1 small can of pureed tomato (60 g)
  • 150 ml (lactose-free) milk
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g (gluten-free) flour


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Wash the eggplants and make small cuts in them with a knife. Place the eggplants in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. You can check in between whether they are done by pricking them with a fork. When the inside became very soft they are done.
  2. In the meantime remove the skin of the tomatoes and cut them into cubes. You can do this by making a cross in the top of the tomato with a knife and putting them in boiling water shortly. Cut the green pepper in pieces too.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan and put the meat in it. Leave it to bake until it is nearly done and then add the tomatoes, the green pepper and the pureed tomato. Keep stirring until the tomatoes have softened.
  4. Pour some boiling water in the pan. Stir through and lower the heat. Put a lid on the pan and leave it to simmer for about half an hour.
  5. Take the eggplant’s out of the oven and cut them in half. Remove the inside of the eggplant from the skin using a spoon. You won’t use the skin. Cut the inside of the eggplant in pieces.
  6. Put another pan on the fire and add the butter and the flour to this. Stir this through until everything is melted. Add the milk and stir until the mixture becomes thicker. If necessary you can add a bit of extra flour. Add some salt for flavour.
  7. Put the eggplant pieces in the pan too. Stir them through the sauce. Try the sauce and add some salt and pepper if necessary. Do the same for the meat sauce.
  8. Put the eggplant puree on a plate and put some of the meat mixture in the middle. For decoration, you can add some fresh parsley.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Turkish

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