It is said that this dish, Sultan’s Delight (Hünkar Begendi), was first created in the kitchen of the Ottoman Empire to please Sultan Murad IV (1612-1640). When Empress Eugénie, the wife of Napoleon III, visited the Topkapi palace in the mid-19th century, she too fell in love with this beautiful dish and asked the chef to share the recipe with her.
Traditionally this dish is cooked with chunks of lamb meat and the eggplant is pureed and cooked with cheese, butter, milk and flour. Ozlem’s version is lighter and healthier. The lamb has been replaced with lean beef mince and the eggplants are mixed with yoghurt. Chopped walnuts have been added for a bit of crunch and texture.
Prick and roast the eggplants on the BBQ or an oven for about an hour on mid temperature – the longer they cook, the better they get.
Strain the yoghurt for a thick creamier texture and mix the cooked potatoes with cream, milk, butter and cheese until perfectly smooth.
Meanwhile, fry the mince in a deep frying pan with a little olive oil and spices. Add the chopped onion, 4 cloves of garlic, chopped walnuts, the sliced banana capsicum and fresh chillies. Add more olive oil if need to. Season it with salt and pepper to your taste.
Take the flesh out of the cooked and cooled eggplants then mash them roughly with a spoon or fork. Mix it with the strained yoghurt and crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper. This combination is truly delicious – a great recipe for dips as well!
On a serving plate put a layer of mash potatoes, add a layer of the mince mixture and then top with the eggplant mixture. Garnish with chopped parsley and sliced chillies.
- Who: Ozlem Ennor
- Home Is: Manly, Sydney
- Family Origin: Balikesir, Turkey
- I can’t live without my: 2 boys Jake and Tyler and husband Mike
- Occupation: Now a full time mum, previously a pre-school teacher
- Dream Job: To open my own bakehouse cafe anywhere in the world where all my closest friends and family could visit regularly. (Our friends an family are all over the world as this is a “dream” it would be great for everyone to be close)
- Childhood taste: A dish that my grandma use to serve me as a child when I was sick, was basically dried bread soaked in milk and sugar
- I always have in my pantry: Olive Oil, Yoghurt and good bread
- Go to meal: Scrambled eggs with onion, pepper and tomato on toast, in Turkey we call it Menemen
- Currently I’m obsessed with: Magnificent Century, a Turkish TV series about the Ottoman empire I got into while back home on holiday in 2012
- I learnt to cook from: Initially from my Mum but then began adapting my food after moving away from home and working in various restaurants and cafes in Istanbul and London
- One day I must visit: I’ve always wanted to go to Japan, their food and culture is something I’ve always wanted to experience
- The unforgettable meal: Xmas eve in Interlaken, Switzerland 2004 me and Mike had travelled all day and were looking forward to a nice diner, we got off the train to find the whole town was closed, we almost gave up hope when we stumbled across a pub who invited us in to eat for free with the locals, we had the most amazing ham cooked inside a loaf of bread with salads and beer
- I contribute to this world: My Kids
- My piece of Sydney: Early morning on Manly beach with a good coffee, before the crowds come out
- Guilty pleasure: 5 in 2 hot chocolate sauce on ice cream with berries
- I buy my groceries at: Anywhere local depending on quality and price, most delis stock Mediterranean ingredients, however every 6 months or so we head out to Auburn where we shop at a Turkish supermarket (Gima 31-35 Queen Street)
- Who does the dishes: Mike
Another delight Ozlem made on the day was this delicious and moist Turkish Marble Tea Cake.
Marble Tea Cake
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 12
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup + 4 tbs milk
- 1/2 cup liquid cooking oil
- 2- 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 lemon rind
- 4-5 tbs cocoa powder
- 4-5 tbs poppy seeds
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C .
- Mix the eggs and sugar until it turns to pale cream colour. (Takes about 5-7 mins).
- Add the oil, 1 cup of milk, vanilla essence and the lemon rind continuing mixing. Gradually add the sifted flour and mix. Add the poopy seeds and mix.
- Grease the cake tin with butter and dust it with flour. Pour 3/4 of the batter in to the tin.
- Add the cocoa powder and 4 table spoons of milk to the remaining cake mixture and beat until it is all combined.
- Pour the cocoa mixture on the top of the plain cake mixture. With the help of a chopstick marble the two colours and bake it about an hour until the skewer comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack to cool down then dust with icing sugar. My son Jake calls it the snowy cake.
Prep time: | Cook time: | Serves 2
- 2 average size eggplants
- 4-5 tbs of drained plain Greek yoghurt
- 4 average size potatoes chopped
- Splash of milk and cream (about 4-5 tbs full each)
- 1 tbs butter
- A hand full of grated cheddar cheese
- A hand full of chopped walnuts
- 500 gr of lean beef mince
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 gloves of garlic, 4 sliced 1 crushed
- Fresh chillies to your taste, sliced
- 2 medium size Banana capsicum, thinly sliced
- Mild chilli flakes
- Dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to your taste
- Fresh parsley to garnish
- Olive oil
- Prick and roast the eggplants on the BBQ for a rich smokey flavour about an hour on mid temperature. The longer they cook, the better they get. If you don’t own a BBQ then put them in the oven on about 150˚C.
- While they are roasting, boil the chopped potatoes with two teaspoons of salt for a mash.
- Fry the mince in a deep frying pan with little olive oil and spices. Add the chopped onion, 4 cloves of garlic, chopped walnuts, the sliced banana capsicum and fresh chillies. Add more olive oil if need to. Season it with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Mash the cooked potatoes with a hand mixer and add the cream, milk, butter and cheese.
- Scoop the flesh out of the cooked and cooled eggplants then mash them roughly with a spoon or fork. Mix it with the strained yoghurt and crushed garlic. Season it with salt and pepper.
- On a serving plate put the half of mash potatoes, put the mince mixture in the middle and the eggplant mixture at the top. Garnish it with chopped parsley and sliced chillies.