Hunkar begendi

Hunkar begendi

Hunkar begendi

For the beef

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef, cut in cubes
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, cut in cubes
  • 4 spoons tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 Pinch of pimento
  • 1 spoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 spoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 green pepper, mashed
  • 1/2 glass of red wine

For eggplant puree

Ingredients

  • 4 medium round eggplants
  • 2 spoons of flour
  • 2 spoons of fresh butter
  • 1 glass lukewarm milk
  • 100 grams grated graviera cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg

Beef Preparation

Directions

  1. Season the meat pieces with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown the meat on all size in heated olive oil.
  3. Add the diced onion and let it roast.
  4. Finish roasting with wine.
  5. Add the tomato mash, the tomato paste, the green pepper and the seasonings and let the meat simmer for at least 1,5 hour.
  6. The meat should be tender and the sauce thick.
  7. During the cooking process check regularly and if needed add more salt or pepper and more water if there is not enough liquid.

Eggplant puree Preparation

The key of success in this recipe is how to make the eggplants smell like burning. This is achieved if you roast the eggplants using an conventional and not a ceramic kitchen stove. If you grill them in the oven, very close to the grill, they will not smell burned enough. Alternatively you can hold them over a flame and turn them slowly until the burn on all sides. The best result is accomplished if you put on top of the conventional kitchen stove three layer of aluminium foil, place the eggplants on top and burn them on all sides for 20 – 30 minutes
Burned eggplants

Burned eggplants for Hunkar Begendi

In our case, since we did not have a flamer and we have a ceramic kitchen stove, we used our fireplace, as the picture demonstrates. We covered the eggplants with aluminium foil and covered them with ashes inside the fireplace. The platter in the picture is suitable if you want to roast the eggplants on your conventional kitchen stove.

 

Directions

  1. Prepare the eggplant mash. Burn the eggplants on a kitchen stove (see hint above), let them cool and then peel off and remove seeds. Mash them on a blender.
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan in medium temperature.
  3. Add the flour and stir continuously.
  4. Gradually add the lukewarm milk and stir in order to create a smooth in texture mixture, like you do when you prepare bechamel sauce.
  5. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Stir again.
  6. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir.
  7. Finally add the eggplant mash and stir in order to unify all ingredients.

To assemble

Directions

  1. Take a platter and empty the warm eggplant puree on it.
  2. Add on top the saucy meat.

Nice reference about the origin and naming of this dish can be found in this blog.
 

2 Comments

  1. Nice picture. I will try the recipe for sure!

  2. I love this dish, one of my favourites. Will try it today