I love the sound of the word ratatouille (and the film!) and though I can’t say I’ve had a lot of ratatouilles in my life, I’ve loved each one I’ve eaten. So here, I’ve decided to make a stew of vegetables and red lentils, full of flavour, radiating warmth, a deliciously wholesome dish for these sudden cold days. Summer just vanished so suddenly and so quickly…. and now we need cosy bowls of love and warmth to bring some of that heat back into our bones… or maybe another holiday!
60g red lentils
2 teaspoons coconut oil
½ onion, sliced lengthways
1 tablespoon ginger, garlic and chilli paste
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium aubergine, chopped
½ courgette, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Once you have washed the red lentils a few times, leave them to soak in 1-2 cups of water overnight. If you are making on the same day, you can start by boiling the lentils – it just might take a little longer.
When you’re starting to make the ratatouille, leave the lentils to boil on low heat while you are making the stew. The lentils will take around 30 minutes to cook (if already soaked). To cook the vegetables, place the coconut oil in a large pan or wok and let this melt on low heat, then add the onions and a pinch of salt – the salt will help the onions cook quicker. Stir the onions in the oil and once they are brown, add the ginger, garlic and chilli paste. If you don’t have a ready paste, grate a small piece of ginger and 2 cloves of garlic into the pan. Add chopped green chillies if you like more spice. Now stir in the aubergine, adding ¼ cup or few tablespoons of water so that the aubergines cook properly. Stir in the red peppers, courgette and turmeric powder after a few minutes.
Once the aubergines are cooked – check this by piercing with a knife and if the aubergine is cooked it will be very soft and the knife will easily slide in – add the chopped tomatoes. The red lentils should also be cooked and soft by now. If there is a little water still left with the red lentils, pour with the red lentils into the vegetables stew.
Mira Manek: Mira is revolutionising the perception of Indian cooking and Indian cuisine by bringing a new super healthy concept of Indian food to the table with her with her expanding range of products, menu collaborations, wellness events and debut cook book which will be published next year, bringing together Indian-inspired recipes that combine traditional home cuisine with new flavours, an artistic reinvention of dishes that Mira has learnt from her mother and grandmother, interwoven with trinkets of history and stories. All of Mira’s recipes are healthy but authentic, all rooted in the tips, methods and stories passed on to her by her grandmother and generations before.