Hunkar Begendi - Roasted eggplant purée
- 4 small eggplant (about ½ lb. or 2 medium (about 1 lb. ea.)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup kasher / kasseri, freshly grated or use romano cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- black pepper, freshly grated
- First, roast the eggplants in the following fashion: prick each one in 3 or 4 places with the tines of a long handled fork.
- Then impale them, one at a time, on the tines of the fork and turn them over a gas flame until the skin chars and begins to crack (if you have an electric stove, pierce the eggplants, place them on a large baking sheet and broil them 4 inches from the heat cutting away any badly charred spots on the surface.)
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and chop them finely.
- Then mash the pulp to a smooth puree with the back of a spoon or with a mortar and pestle.
- In a heavy 3 to 4 quart saucepan, heat the tablespoon of butter over moderate heat.
- When the foam begins to subside, stir in the flour and when it is completely absorbed pour in the milk all at once.
- Stirring vigorously with a whisk, cook over high heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens heavily.
- Beat in the pureed eggplant, reduce the heat to low, and, stirring occasionally, simmer for 5 minutes.
- Off the heat add the cheese, salt and a few grindings of pepper.
- Beat vigorously until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in the spoon.
- Taste for seasoning and serve at once.
- Hunkar begendi traditionally accompanies roast or braised veal or lamb.