Tamarind-Infused Ratatouille

July 19, 2017
3 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

The sweet-sour taste of tamarind, commonly found in many Indian and South Asian dishes, adds an interesting, but not overpowering, twist to this French dish. It brought out many characteristics that I didn’t catch in the individual vegetables earlier: the caramelization of the eggplant, the freshness of the zucchini, the woodsy scent of the thyme.

For the tamarind chutney, I used Geeta’s brand (http://geetasfoods.com/products/tamarind-chutney-320g/), but you could also make your own (https://food52.com/recipes...).

This is an amazing dish to make ahead as it only gets better as it sits! —Jane Katz

What You'll Need
  • 2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 small Vidalia onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1/2 bunch basil
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 zucchini or squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind chutney, diluted with 2 tablespoons water
  1. Toss eggplant with a hefty sprinkle (about 1 teaspoon) of salt in a colander and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then pour it out into a large bowl lined with paper towels. press and squeeze most of the liquid out of the eggplant.
  2. Add a generous glug (about 2 tablespoons) of olive oil to a large pan and sauté eggplant until deeply golden, about 10 minutes. When done, remove and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then sauté onions on a medium heat until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, chili flakes, and half of the basil. Add a generous pinch of salt.
  4. Add peppers and squash, cooking for 10 minutes until they start to brown. Add tomatoes, and another tablespoon of oil. Taste for salt and add pepper. Add more salt if necessary.
  5. Cook this mixture for 10 minutes, then add back eggplant and diluted tamarind chutney. Toss and taste.
  6. Add more salt/spice if your ratatouille needs more of a kick. Add more tamarind chutney if you want it to be more pungent. Add more basil if you feel like it. Cook for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Top with remaining basil leaves, and serve warm (preferably with a nice crusty bread, and a glass of wine).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • Jane Katz
    Jane Katz
  • Judy Williamson
    Judy Williamson
  • Suzanne

6 Reviews

Suzanne September 4, 2017
Can you make it without the tamarind chutney or suggest a substitute.
Jane K. September 5, 2017
Hi Suzanne, the ratatouille will be delicious without, but the chutney is what makes it special. I would recommend pomegranate molasses as a substitute if you want to swap it out.
Regine July 20, 2017
Interesting. I will definitely try. I myself usually use lots of smoked sweet paprika and some anchovy paste (or crushed anchovies) to enhance the flavor of my ratatouille.
Jane K. July 20, 2017
that sounds delicious Regine! very basque-inspired if I may say. Excited to hear your thoughts on my riff!
Judy W. July 26, 2017
This sounds delicious! Could it be made ahead and heated up after a couple days?
Jane K. August 3, 2017
Absolutely! Ratatouille lasts spectacularly well in the fridge. If you feel like it needs a little zhuzz, add some fresh herbs on top :) That's sure to brighten things up!