Come summers and one can see an array of new vegetables in the local market which were not visible in the cold cold winter. What better way t make use of these seasonal vegetables than to cook an aromatic ratatouille that gives your taste buds a run for the second bite?
Now, I must confess that I have been obsessing about this dish ever since I saw the animated movie, Ratatouille, that I did some reading of the history behind it. You can follow the link here to read more about it.
Ratatouille being a vegetable stew with tomatoes as the key ingredients and various vegetables sauteed in the tomato sauce, I chose to pick the local vegetables available to me and hence my version of the recipe may be a little different from the numerous recipes on the net.
Heat olive oil in a pan and add the bay leaf, carom seeds and mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add crushed garlic and sautee with golden brown. Now tip in the onions and lightly sautee for a minute or two and then add in the tomatoes.
Add the seasoning and using a potato mashed, mash the tomatoes and cover and cook on low heat for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Adding the salt lets the tomatoes t give out water in which it can cook easily with the need to putting much oil.
Now add the beans, cover and cook for 5-10 mins. Tip in all the remaining vegetables but capsicums and stir so that they are even distributed and add crushed pepper. Cover and cook for a good 10-15 minutes on low heat
You may want to check in from time to time to ensure that the vegetables do not burn and if needed, add a little water. when all the vegetables are almost cook, add the the capsicum and cook for another 5 mins.
Serve hot with some rice or a nice french baguette. This can also be used as a side dish and aperfect stuffing in a filling omelette.