Braised beef tenderloin served on a bed of creamy roasted eggplant puree
Hünkar Beğendi, which literately translates as "the Sultan liked it." The dish was created for Sultan Murad IV (1612-1640) and obviously he liked it. Where the dish was created--in the palace kitchens or in the kitchen of a moderate house that Murad IV spent a night on his way back from a hunting trip--is not clear. The second rumor is that the same dish was served for Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, in Sultan Abdülaziz's Beylerbeyi Palace in 1869, and she liked it so much that Abdülaziz promised her to ask his chef to give Eugenie's cook the recipe. And the rumor goes that Abdülaziz's chef was reluctant to share his recipe. I salute whoever shared the recipe later on.