Ratatouille – Turkish style

I have found the secret to a good ratatouille and it is two words: olive oil.


I remember making my first ratatouille only a couple of years ago, in a mates flat in Paris, while myself and old Kiwi mate were 6 weeks training through western Europe. Good trip. Awesome feed. One of maybe on that trip actually – it’s hard to find a bad feed in France, Spain and Portugal. I’ve tried to make it a few times after that and it’s never really come out so well. I never figured out why. Just a couple of weeks ago, the same Parisian ratatouille sharing friend and I were in Istanbul. I’m sure it’s not called ratatouille there but the Turks have something very similar. And it was awesome.

Summer veges.

Tonight I made one and it was lovely. And the only differences that I can think of were these. I started with eggplant first and cooked that in a very generous amount of olive oil (as per the Turkish ratatouille we had off Istiklal street).

As a meat eater, I have often felt like there’s something missing when I eat vegetarian. Though I’d normally have made ratatouille with chicken I can honestly say that it was absolutely lovely by itself and I wasn’t at all left with that “it’s good…. but it’d be so much better with a bit of chicken” feeling.

feeds four

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 large onion (actually on this occassion I think I used 4 or 5 shallots as that’s what I had on hand)
  • 2 medium tomatoes (I think I only had one smallish tomato in the fridge so threw in a bit of tomato paste – seems like that works fine too)
  • 1 clove of garlic (I didn’t either happen to have any garlic on hand and it was still lovely)
  • olive oil
  1. Dice all the veg into similar sized chunks.
  2. Get a pan on the medium heat, add a generous amount of oil (perhaps 2T) and when it is hot add the diced eggplant.
  3. Salt and add freshly milled black pepper.
  4. Stir occasionally and cook through until the eggplant is almost soggy and loses it’s shape (I like it this way ultimately but it’ll still be on the heat for a while).
  5. Add the red pepper and onion.
  6. Add a little oil (you’ll find that the eggplant absorbed the large amount of oil you added before), a little more salt and pepper.
  7. Fish the eggplant roughly to the top and allow the onion and pepper to soften and fry.
  8. When the onion has gotten a bit of colour and both the last ingredients have softened, add the tomato and courgette.
  9. Allow tomato to “dissolve” and the courgette to soften a bit (I don’t like it too mushy, unlike the eggplant, otherwise it’s all just unrecogniable mush), add the garlic, crushed and check/adjust the seasoning to taste.
  10. Serve with some warm rice.

2 responses to “Ratatouille – Turkish style”

  1. Cal

    Pity you didn’t have all the right ingredients. What you’ve described is bog-standard French ratatouille so I don’t know why you’ve called it Turkish style? Actually for your info, the turkish version is aubergines stuffed with a ratatouille style dish. the turks call it Imam Bayeldi (which means The Imam Fainted – meaning it’s so gorgeous that the Imam, which can be translated as either an Imam or a sultan, was so overwhelmed that he fainted!) I hope you have managed to make ratatouille since – with all the ingredients! I would suggest around 6 tomatoes and also add a dozen or so black olives. also, it’s well worth making it in the evening, then keep it overnight in the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle, then put it back in the pan next day and cook it up with additional olive oil and maybe a glug of lemon juice. You rlist of ingredients lacks herbs, which are essential. Either basil or thyme or parsley, or a combination, added near the end of the cooking.

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