Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Ratatouille is a rustic vegetable stew which has its origins in the South of France - the region of Nice to be precise. It also goes by the name of Ratoutille Nicoise for that reason. This dish can't get any simpler- it literally means to stir together. What does one stir together - vegetables like eggplants, zucchini, bell peppers, courgettes, tomatoes - all slow cooked together till the flavours meld and the juices combine.

This dish is usually cooked on the stove top for upto an hour; but one of my favourite weekday cookbooks - Good Food - 101 Healthy Eats - has a nice recipe which cooks up fast and turns out delicious too. Though this could potentially be a convenient fridge clearing recipe, I would recommend using fresh vegetables as far as possible.

I'm sending this fabulous recipe to this month's edition of Heart of the Matter - Budget Friendly Recipes; this event which is focused on recipes which are heart friendly ("low in saturated fats (lean meats and fish), be low in salt (sodium), and abundant with vegetables or fruit") is hosted by Michelle of the Accidental Scientist. and Ilva of Lucullian Delights. This month's edition is about trying to eat food which is healthy but at the same time doesn't pinch our pockets in the time of recession. What better dish than this ratatouille which has just vegetables and no exotic, expensive ingredients which may make us think twice?

Adapted from Good Food - 101 Healthy Recipes
2 red or yellow peppers ( I used 1 yellow pepper and 1 green pepper)
4 large tomatoes
1 large aubergine (bharta baingan), cut into large chunks
4 small courgettes (I used zucchini) , sliced thickly
1 onion, sliced thin
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
2-3 tbsp olive oil

1. Peel the peppers (if possible) and cut into 1" squares. I was able to peel the peppers because they were fairly large and firm. Next time I will skip this step!
2. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, plunge into cold water immediately. Peel, chop and deseed. Make a small cross on the base of each tomato before blanching to enable the skin to come off easily.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the aubergines for about 5 minutes, till soft. Remove and keep aside
4. In the same oil, fry the courgettes till golden, adding a little more oil if necessary. Fry the bell peppers, onions, paprika powder and garlic.
5. Add the vinegar and sugar, the tomatoes and coriander as well as the aubergines with some salt, pepper and cumin powder and cook for 10-15 minutes, till the vegetables are cooked but not mushy.
6. Serve warm with soup on the side.


Nupur said...

I made ratatouille just last night, for dinner tonight (tastes better after a day). It really is the perfect recipe for using up lots of vegetables, and your version looks perfectly tasty!

Arch said...

Its that simple ? This one tasted awesome...I ate so much in those two days at your place !!

aquadaze said...

that's oe hearty ratatouille!!

Red Chillies said...

What an apt dish for the occasion. Looks good. I have never tasted this before.

Raaga said...

Hey... I always thought courgettes and zucchini were the same veggie :-)

I have everything I need to make this... including the red wine vinegar!

Vaishali said...

I've been thinking of making ratatouille this week-- it's the perfect time because of the abundance of eggplants and zucchini and tomatoes this time of year. Yours looks delicious, Miri. Would love a bowl of that now.

Sig said...

I've never made ratatoullie at home, I was tempted to after the movie though. I had one at a restaurant recently and they served it with a fried egg on top, it was yum!

Srivalli said...

great one miri, ratatouille always reminds me of the movie. How we enjoyed it...and yes this has been on my must do list since then...yours is looking good...

Mallugirl said...

hearty meal.. loved the movie by the same name..did u watch that?

Sophie said...

WOW (impressed look). Your eggplant dish looks so yummy.

Here I bought a sauce pack for Sauce for Spicy Garlic Egg-plant so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.