Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Quick and easy Ratatouille

Ratatouille is most easily classified as comfort food on cold winter nights. Even a South-Indian like me will crave it's simple, delicious taste and the warmth one feels as we eat it. It truly is one of the soul foods. Tonight, we all needed just that after facing cold weather again for two nights in a row with snow showers. More over, I cannot think of anything else that will complement the sourdough bread as well as ratatouille. Even those who usually turn their nose up at aubergine (Naz, cough!) cannot resist this one. This is a very forgiving recipe and can be modified to suit your taste.

You will need:
1 aubergine/egg plant/Brinjal (large variety)
1 courgette/zucchini/seemai sorrakai
2 cups sweet/bell peppers/kudai milagai (of different colors)
1 can peeled tomatoes/4 tomatoes peeled - chopped coarsely
3-4 cloves garlic crushed
1 medium onion- chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp herb de Provence/ any dried mixed herb of your choice
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped coarsely
salt and black pepper to taste
2 fresh green chillies slit in the middle (optional) for adults who prefer spicy food.

Peel aubergine and courgette and chop them into bite size pieces. For very little children you can chop them finely. Add a little bit of salt just to coat them and leave them in a colander to drain. They will ooze out liquid. This step reduces the amount of oil needed later on to roast them. If you have more time, you can roast them in the oven instead.

Heat a skillet to a medium heat and add chopped onions, garlic and chillies (if using) and cook until the onion gets transparent.

 Lightly rinse out the zucchini-aubergine under cold water and squeeze out some of the liquid. Add them to the skillet and fry for 30 secs.

Add the sweet peppers. Increase the heat to high and stir fry the vegetables until they get roasted well.

Once the vegetables start to turn golden brown, reduce the heat to medium and add salt and black pepper. Beware that the aubergine-zucchini already has salt. So add less at this point. You can always add more later.
Add the tomatoes. Cover and cook for a few more mins. Add little bit more water if needed. Taste and adjust for salt and add all the herbs and parsley. The ratatouille is usually served some what like a semi-solid. Not like soup. If it looks a bit watery you can try and add some tomato puree/ketchup to thicken it.

Serve warm with slices of favorite bread or with crepes or omelettes.

Note: You can use canned peeled tomatoes after chopping them coarsely or cook fresh tomatoes in the microwave or boiling water for 2 mins turning once or twice. Let it cool and peel the skin and chop them coarsely.

Sending this one to Veggie/Fruit A Month Event hosted by Priya

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