Reach for the Light


Ratatouille Desi Style – Recipe


I’ve always been a fan of Ratatouille (the Disney film) and ever since I saw it, I wanted to make it at home. I finally got the chance, and I took it. I didn’t have a traditional oven at my disposal so I used a pressure cooker as a makeshift oven. With a proper oven, it should taste even better. I call this desi ratatouille because I don’t have some of the ingredients needed and I also like my food to be a bit spicier than is strictly professional. Another plus, is that it’s a stunner of a dish, sure to be a hot at any party. Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Ingredients for Ratatouille


for 8 servings

Vegetables on top

  • 2 eggplants
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 yellow squashes (Green will do in a pinch)
  • 2 zucchinis (Turai/Tori)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Remember to use the long, cylindrical version of each of these vegetables.


  • 6 tablespoons ghee
  • 2-3 large onions, peeled whole
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 beef bone, approx. 100 gm
  • Salt 1 tsp. or to taste
  • black pepper ¼ tsp. or to taste
  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 ½ litre water
  • For tarka
    • Red chilli powder ½ tsp.
    • Garam masala ¼ tsp.
    • Coriander powder 1 tsp.
    • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh coriander
    • 1 small eggplant (diced)
    • 1 tomato, diced
    • 1 small yellow squashes (Green will do in a pinch), diced
    • 1 small zucchinis (Turai/Tori), diced

Recipe for Ratatouille

  1. Start by slicing all vegetables into regular thin disks, set aside.
  2. In two tablespoons of ghee, on the stove, in a pressure cooker, add the bone and cook it on medium high heat until it is browned on all sides, around 3 minutes.
  3. Peel the onions and garlic, and all add the sauce ingredients to the pressure cooker, except those marked for the tarka.  They must be cooked later.
  4. Add the 1 ½ litre water and then close the cooker, cook for twenty minutes after the whistle goes off.
  5. Dice up the vegetables need for the sauce:  1 small eggplant (diced), 1 tomato, diced, 1 small yellow squashes (Green will do in a pinch), diced, 1 small zucchinis (Turai/Tori), diced.
  6. While you wait for the cooker, in the remaining 4 tbsps. Ghee fry up the diced vegetables until golden brown, then add the remaining spices and let toast slightly. Set aside.
  7. Once the sauce is ready, fish out the bone and throw it away, add the fried up vegetables and spices and simmer until it is almost dry and resembles a thick paste.
  8. Preheat the oven for 375˚F (190˚C).
  9. Working from the outside of the pan towards the centre, layer the vegetables in alternate slices on top of the sauce (for example, eggplant, tomato, squash and zucchini). Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining salt and pepper.
  11. Bake the pan for 40 minutes with the foil covering it. Bake for an additional 20 minutes with the lid off, or until the veggies are tender.
  12. Serve hot as a side with white rice, or roti. The ratatouille is also delicious the next day.
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