Plum Ratatouille

Welcome back everyone! Today’s recipe is a French classic stewed vegetable dish called the Ratatouille (pronunciation: Ra.Tuh.Too.Ee). The dish gained hype after featuring in a Disney Pixar movie, ‘Ratatouille’. My version of this traditional food features plums that were vital to complete my stone fruit series. Let’s break down the components of this dish for your understanding:

So first up we prepare a herbaceous tomato gravy base with neatly arranged thin round slices/ scallops of egg plant, potato, zucchini, onion, bell pepper (or tomato), cheese and plums. The dish is generously brushed with some herb butter for an added flavour and finally roasted in the oven with a sweet and sour plum glaze. The plums give this dish a nice ‘achari’ feel that I was hoping to get. This dish is a treat to eat with plain or steamed rice and a perfect meal to put together in a single pot. You don’t have to be vegetarian to love this dish 😀


Ingredient List:

Recipe Difficulty Level: Basic
Serving: 6 people
Prep Time: 15 mins
Bake Time: 60 mins

For Tomato Gravy Base:

Tomato Purée (ٹماٹر پیسٹ)
	1 cup

Carrot (گاجر)
	1 small

Garlic (لہسن)
	3 large cloves

Spring Onions (ہرا پیاز)
	2 small bulbs

Green Chillies (ہری مرچ)
	3 small

Apple Cider Vinegar (سیب کا سرکہ)
	1 tablespoon

Chicken Stock (مرغ یخنی)
	1 cup

Fresh Basil (تلسی)
	2 large leaves

Salt (نمک)
	to taste

Black Pepper (کالی مرچ)
	to taste

Cream (کریم)
	2 tablespoons

Cooking Oil (تیل)
	1 tablespoon

For Herb Butter:

Butter (مکھن)
	1 tablespoon heaped

Dried Parsley (دھنیا)
	1 teaspoon

Dried Basil (تلسی)
	1/2 teaspoon

Dried Oregano (اوریگانو)
	1/2 teaspoon

Dried Thyme (جنگلی پودینہ)
	1/2 teaspoon

Olive Oil (زیتون کا تیل)
	1 teaspoon

Salt (نمک)
	to taste

Black Pepper (کالی مرچ)
	to taste

For Plum Glaze:

Plum Purée (آلوبخارے کی چٹنی)
	1/2 cup

Cumin Powder (زیرہ پاؤڈر)
	1/2 teaspoon

Red Chilli Flakes (کٹی لال مرچ)
	1/2 teaspoon

Brown Sugar (شکر)
	1 tablespoon

For Ratatouille:

Fresh Plums (آلوبخارے)
	4-5 large

Red Bell Pepper (سرخ شملہ مرچ)
	2 medium-sized

Zucchini (گھیا توری)
	1 large

Egg Plant (بینگن)
	1 large

Red Onion (لال پیاز)
	1 large

Potatoes (آلو)
	2 medium-sized

Tomato Gravy Base 
	as prepared

Herb Butter 
	as prepared

Plum Glaze 
	as prepared

Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
	as required

Substitutions:

For 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar: Add 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (لیمو کا رس).

For 1 teaspoon Dried Parsley: Add 1 teaspoon chopped fresh coriander (ہرا دھنیا).

For 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar: Add 1 teaspoon of White Sugar (چینی).

For Red Bell Pepper: Use same quantity of Tomatoes (ٹماٹر). The purpose is just to add a pop of red colour.


Tools Required:

Cooking Pan or a Frying Pan
Mixing Spoon
Kitchen Knife
Cutting Board
Mixing Bowls
Saucepan
Aluminium Foil
Cooking Stove
Kitchen Oven

Steps:

  1. Clean your veggies and fruits (egg plant, zucchini, red bell pepper, potatoes, onions, and plums) and slice them into thin discs. Cut out rings of bell pepper and onion. Set the sliced vegetables and fruits aside for later use.DSCN8515
  2. For tomato gravy base, take a cooking pan and sauté minced garlic in cooking oil over medium -low heat. Add minced spring onion and sauté along.
  3. When the garlic releases aroma, add minced carrot and green chillies. Fry for 1 minute and add apple cider vinegar.
  4. Mix and add tomato purée. Let it cook for 3 minutes and add chicken stock.
  5. Add chopped fresh basil, salt and black pepper and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced.
  6. Turn the flame off and mix the cream it. Let it come up to room temperature.DSCN8519
  7. Prepare the herb butter by mixing butter, dry herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme), olive oil, and seasonings (salt and black pepper). Set it aside for later use.
  8. Work on the plum glaze by straining plum purée to remove skin and unnecessary pulp.
  9. Heat the saucepan with the plum purée to a medium flame and add cumin powder, red chilli flakes, and brown sugar. Simmer the sauce until slightly thick and let it come up to room temp.
  10. Once all the components are ready, pre-heat your oven to 180°C.
  11. Cut slightly thick slices of mozzarella. Arrange the cheese with the veggie and fruit discs in an alternating pattern over the gravy base.  There's no hard and fast rule to this pattern. Just start placing the discs from the outer edge and move towards the centre (watch video tutorial linked below for a better demonstration).DSCN8526-1
  12. Brush the top with the herb butter and cover with a foil. Bake the pan at 200°C for 40 minutes.DSCN8530-2
  13. Uncover the pan and brush the ratatouille with plum glaze. Bring the temperature down to 180°C and bake for another 20 minutes without the foil.DSCN8544-3
  14. Take the pan out when the veggies are tender and roasted on top.
  15. Garnish with some basil and chopped spring onion greens or chives. Serve with plain rice and enjoy when hot ❤

Tips and Tricks:

It’s better to slice the potatoes using a mandolin slicer. Thin slices of potatoes cook evenly with other vegetables. In case, you don’t have the utensil, you can slice the potatoes using a kitchen knife and blanch them in boiling water for 5 minutes to initiate their cooking process.  

Ratatouille should be as pleasing to the eye as it should be to the taste buds. Try to incorporate all the vibrant colours in the dish. I would prefer red bell peppers from the taste point of view but if you cannot find that, use sliced tomatoes for a red pop of colour like I did.

You can skip mozzarella if you like but I feel like it adds a creamy element to this dish. The less pungent and subtle flavour of mozzarella makes it the most suitable cheese for this dish.  


DSCN8572-5

Tutorial:

For a better demonstration of this recipe, click on the link below:

Plum Ratatouille

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