The Legend of Turkish Cuisine: The Story of Hunkar Begendi

Pita favorite among delicious Turkish dishes
28 July 2021
About Maza, Halal Mediterranean and Turkish Cuisine
13 August 2021
hunkar begendi

hunkar begendi

Hunkar begendi it still preserves its distinction and place as one of the most important taste heritages from the Ottoman Empire.
Although centuries have passed, it always manages to become one of the most popular invitation dishes of Turkish cuisine. How would you like to learn the story of the arrival of this flavor, which we often prefer on special occasions, as we have special guests, to our tables?

Hunkar Begendi

Is there anyone who does not know how popular eggplant dishes are in Turkish cuisine? We don’t think so. A feast of taste that emerges when the delicious taste of eggplant meets red meat, one of the cornerstones of Turkish cuisine.

If you ask what is the nirvana of eggplant and red meat, which create flavor combinations that are very insistent on mind-blowing, our answer is undoubtedly one of the most precious tastes of Turkish cuisine; Hunkar will like it.

The story of Hunkar Begendi

While the calendars were showing the summer months of 1867, Hünkar Begendi, one of the most precious dishes on our tables, came out with a story that could not match the movies. This sad story begins with Sultan Abdülaziz’s departure to Paris as the first and last sultan to go abroad outside of the campaign. Sultan Abdulaziz visits Napoleon III in Paris for an international exhibition, and unexpected things happen.

Ottoman sultan Sultan Abdulaziz and III. Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon.Napoleon and his wife, Empress Eugenie, Sultan Abdulaziz ‘s care are accommodated in the palace of Sultan Abdulaziz and yet the Empress Eugenie, the wind already have fallen in love at first sight. When the exhibition ended, Sultan Abdulaziz had only one thing in mind as he was returning to Istanbul from Paris; impossible love Empress Eugenie. But for Eugenie, the situation was no different. It was not possible for Eugenie to forget Sultan Abdulaziz, who was recorded in the historical records as a famous sultan for his majesty.

Hunkar begendi
Hunkar begendi

However, fate had not yet prepared its final surprise for Sultan Abdulaziz and Empress Eugenie. Years later, the Suez CanalNapoleon III and his wife Eugenie were also invited to the opening. Since Napoleon could not accept this invitation, he sent Empress Eugenie to Egypt to represent them. While traveling by ship to Egypt, Eugenie stopped by the port of Istanbul and visited Sultan Abdulaziz in his palace. Bringing her cook accompanying her to the palace on her way to Egypt, Euginie asks her cook to make bechamel sauce for Sultan Abdulaziz and herself during this visit. Eugenie’s cook prepares the béchamel sauce, and at that time, the head chef of the palace cuisine adds roasted eggplant to the béchamel sauce and puts the sultan’s favorite meat dish on top of this mortar and presents it to Sultan Abdülaziz and his guest Eugenie. Sultan Abdulaziz liked this dish so much that after that day, this dish was ‘ Hunkar Begendi it ‘. It is famous all over the country and the world.

Unfortunately, this beautiful dish has a bitter memory. Deciding to stay with Abdülaziz in Istanbul after dinner that day, Eugenie went to the sultan’s mother Pertevniyal Valide Sultan while she was in the harem one day , and she expelled herself from the palace and Eugenie, who returned to her country, was sent into exile by her husband, Napoleon III. Sultan Abdulaziz was also deposed and killed shortly after. Thus, the lovers could not reunite, but a bitter taste legacy remained from their love.

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