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Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Ratatouille ~ India Inspired

Cheeseless and Cheerful, India Inspired Ratatouille
Cheeseless and Cheerful ~ India Inspired Ratatouille

When it comes to international cuisine, French cuisine ranks among our favorites. Then again, we are devotees of Tibetan, Thai, Mexican and Italian … well you get the picture. But back to French food, if we may. So delighted are we of the new Pixar animated movie, we decided to recreate one of our favorite French recipes at home. Cheeseless and cheerful ~ The Ratatouille.

Dictionary defines Ratatouille as “A vegetable stew, usually made with eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, and onions, seasoned with herbs and garlic”. Ratatouille, Pulusu, Kurma or Subzi …different names in different languages but the underlying wisdom is the same. Isn’t it? When vibrant and fresh looking vegetables are available, the recipe served will make happy people happier and comforts those who aren’t. Really, we don’t have to do much in order to make a miraculous meal.

The India inspiration is addition of poppy seeds. When added to bobbling vegetables in the pot, the powdered poppy seeds will bring sweet aroma and subtly enriches the ratatouille in a typical Indian way.

Cheeseless and Cheerful, India Inspired Ratatouille
Farm Fresh Vegetables from Pike Place Market for Ratatouille ~ Round Zucchinis, Red and Green Capsicum, Shallots, Purple Garlic, Baby Carrots, Fresh Peas, Tomatoes & Green Brinjals (Total Cost $8).

Recipe:
1 teaspoon peanut oil
¼ tsp each - cumin, mustard seeds and 6 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves and 2 shallots - finely chopped
6 each - tomatoes, brinjals, carrots & 2 each - zucchinis, capsicums ~ cut to chunks
Half cup each - freshly shelled peas and finely chopped coriander leaves
Quarter cup poppy seeds - powdered fine in a spice grinder
¼ tsp red chilli powder, salt and turmeric or to taste
**************
In a big saucepan, heat the oil until a curry leaf tossed in it sizzles. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry leaves and toast to pale brown. Toss in cumin, mustard seeds. When seeds start to jump, add the garlic and shallots. Stir fry few minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and peas. Cook, covered for about ten minutes. The vegetables start to get tender and you will see lot of water in the pot. At this stage stir in poppy seed paste, chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Sprinkle coriander leaves, mix and simmer another ten minutes, until the sauce becomes thick but pourable.
Serve warm with rice/chapati/bread or pasta.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper, Vankaya (Brinjal), Poppy Seeds, Zucchini (Tuesday July 10, 2007 at 9:06 pm- permalink)

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16 comments for Ratatouille ~ India Inspired »

  1. Fun post and recipe, Indira :) .

    i am waiting to see the movie :-D

    Comment by musical — July 10, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

  2. I like any dish with lots of vegetables!:) so i am sure i am going to like this!Thanks.

    Comment by madhuli — July 10, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  3. yha…….the movie was great and ur recipie is wonderful.i too am thinking to make this one.

    Comment by ramya — July 10, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

  4. It has been 5 years since I had ratatouille. I will make it soon and am waiting for the movie to release. :-)

    Comment by Raaga — July 10, 2007 @ 10:23 pm

  5. Thats a whole plate of nature for meal! great looking dish Indira!

    Comment by Nirmala — July 10, 2007 @ 11:23 pm

  6. Wow! The dish is so colorful, just like India!

    Comment by Kumudha — July 11, 2007 @ 6:47 am

  7. I loved the movie too.I like your very interesting version of ratatouille. I would say there are as many ways to make this dish as their are cooks making it!

    Comment by Kalyn — July 11, 2007 @ 6:52 am

  8. that is indeed a beautiful burst of flavours and colours.

    Comment by bee — July 11, 2007 @ 7:31 am

  9. luv the title and ofcourse the movie ;)
    yummy yummy :)

    Comment by anusharaji — July 11, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  10. Wonderful post and recipe India

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — July 11, 2007 @ 9:35 am

  11. loved the recipe..will try out soon..you have a wonderful food blog….very very creative and simple

    Comment by rashmi ritesh — July 11, 2007 @ 12:55 pm

  12. Wow Indira! How innovative! And the dish looks so vibrant and appetizing! Your posts never fail to delight!
    Did i tell you that we had a wonderful time in Seattle! You live in such a wonderful place!
    Hope you had a fun time on your vacation.
    Cheers
    Latha

    Comment by Latha — July 11, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  13. Indira,

    As usual your dishes look very good. I was wondering about poppy seeds you use. I remember my grandma telling me once that poppy seeds are not too good for the body. I tried looking that up and I couldn’t see much about them being bad. Do you know about that?

    Have a wonderful summer!
    Sushma

    Comment by Sushma — July 11, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  14. Indira, I just mailed a check to this cause. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. I hope together we can provide enough money for seeds purchase.

    Comment by Madhavi — July 11, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

  15. Hi all,

    I am happy to read that you liked this recipe. Thanks for your lovely comments.

    Thanks Latha!
    Seattle is a beautiful city, isn’t it?:) I am so glad to hear that you had lovely time here.

    Hi Sushma: Poppy seeds are a common ingredient at our homes back in India and traditionally added both in sweets and savory preparations in Andhra. We’ve never faced any side effects. Actually it’s known for cooling effect so regularly used during summer times to thicken the curries/pulusu preparations.
    You can prepare this curry without poppy seeds as well, if you are hesitant. Hope this helps.

    Thanks very much Madhavi! I greatly appreciate your kind support.

    Comment by Indira — July 11, 2007 @ 8:48 pm

  16. I stumbled across the green aggplant at Whole Foods …..I was planning on making my usual brinjal curry, but was not too sure how different this green variety was from its purple conterpart.

    Now the store called them Thai eggplant so I was looking for Thai recipies and found your blog! Ain’t I glad,I will definately try one of your recipies.
    Hmmm…. Ratatouille, cant make it to Pike Place for all ingredients, so
    Vankaya with Jeelakarra Karam it will be!

    Comment by Shweta — August 4, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

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