Rat-a-what?


Ratatouille with herbed butter rice

I’ve always been curious what Ratatouille would taste like since I saw the movie of the same name! But when I finally did sample it at a restaurant I was pleasantly surprised by how desi it actually is – come on, vegetables cooked in a tomato gravy! When I got the How to Eat: The Principles of Good Food book by Nigella Lawson, I saw how simple she’d made this rustic French dish to be. With a couple of alterations – no way was I going to use 6 tbsp of olive oil or cook the thing for 2 hours :-O – I had some thing that was a perfect Sunday lazy lunch, which we finished with some mango-cardamom sorbet.

This is how I made the Ratatouille

1 yellow zucchini, diced
1 each of yellow and green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 small broccoli, cut into florets
1 small carrot, diced
2 tsp coriander powder, yes I told you it’s very close to home!
Pepper powder
Salt to taste
Dried herbs – just a pinch
Olive oil – I used hardly a tbsp but you can use more if you like

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, saute till they’re golden (not brown) and then add the carrots, followed by the zucchini. Saute them well and add the garlic, stir on a medium flame and add the broccoli then the bell peppers. Add the tomatoes after this and a spoonful or two of water, to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Now add the coriander powder, pepper and salt, mix well and cover for another 10 minutes and allow it to cook. Turn off the flame, stir in the herbs and serve hot.

Herbed butter rice

You can use any herbs for this, basil or thyme are the best options but rosemary will be a little too strong. As for the rice, you can use regular rice too but I somehow prefer the long-grained Basmati when I’m making something like this.

2 cups of Basmati rice, washed and soaked with a pinch of lime juice – this helps to keep the rice white even after cooking
2 tsp of dried herbs
3 tsp of butter, I used Amul Nutrilite instead
Salt to taste

Heat butter in a pan and add the herbs to it, when it begins to release the aromas then add the rice and stir quickly until the rice has changed colour to accquire a slight golden tinge. Season with salt. Cook in a rice cooker/ pressure cooker with water. Serve hot.

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