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Sultan's Relish Kebab

Updated: Jun 13, 2021

Hünkar Begendi

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables because, when cooked properly, it goes with almost anything, including— and especially— lamb. In the original recipe, Halici refers to the roux as a ‘yogurt;’ however, this recipe lacks a tangy lemon flavor that I usually associate with the taste of yogurt. Mixing the eggplant with the roux or 'yogurt' sauce made it rich and very creamy. The original recipe had very specific steps on how to cook the lamb. At first, I tried Halici's way which was wonderful, but could be time consuming. Instead, I decided to place the lamb with the herbs and spices as outlined below, in a Dutch oven, and allow it to cook for 2 hours. The result, in my opinion was the same. This recipe can also be done in a crockpot.

Sultan's Relish Kebab


  • 2 lb. deboned leg of lamb

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 2 cups onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • salt to taste

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 2 lb eggplant

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 5 tablespoon all- purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup grated white mild-cheddar cheese

Yields: serving for 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours


  1. In a heavy Dutch oven, place the meat. Brown for a few minutes, then add the butter, onion, tomato paste, pepper flakes, black pepper, cinnamon, thyme, bay leaf, water and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low heat for 2 hours.

  2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the eggplant.

  3. Pierce the skin of the eggplant, and place on a baking sheet.

  4. Cook in a 450°F oven for 35 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and place in a food processor. Puree.

  5. In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour, and drizzle in the milk to make a nice, thick roux.

  6. Add the eggplant puree to the roux. Mix until the mixture is well incorporated.

  7. Season to taste. Add the grated cheese. Mix the puree.

  8. Place the meat in the middle of a large serving plate. Add the eggplant puree around the meat. Garnish with dates and serve warm.

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