Ras el hanout ratatouille with basil purée and tabbouleh

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A simple yet intensely flavourful twist on the French ratatouille, this version is given a North African twist with ras el hanout and a quinoa tabbouleh on the side. With a verdant basil purée adding to the fresh flavours, this is a great make-ahead vegan dish as everything is served either chilled or at room temperature.

First published in 2021





Basil purée


To serve


  • Blender



Place a large nonstick pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Once hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt and sweat down until soft (around 7 minutes). Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for 2 more minutes


Just before the onions start to brown, add the courgette and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Follow that up with aubergine and cook for a further 4 minutes. Once the aubergine is nearly cooked, add a touch more oil and the red pepper. Cook for a further 6 minutes then add the ras el hanout. Stir for a minute then finally add the tomatoes


Cook the tomatoes for 5 minutes then cover the pan and leave to gently simmer for a further 15 minutes


After this time the tomatoes will have released their liquid and all the vegetables will be cooked but still firm. Season according to taste and add the herbs. Let the ratatouille sit uncovered for about 45 minutes before serving (or, if making in advance, cover and keep in the fridge, ensuring you allow it to come back to room temperature before serving)


Meanwhile, make the basil purée. Place a nonstick pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Once hot add the onion with a pinch of salt and sweat down slowly until soft and only just starting to colour


As the onion cooks, slice off the green skin of the courgette and reserve the white part for another dish as it isn't needed here. Julienne the green skin and once the onions are soft add to the pan with the water. Cook with a lid on for 2 minutes


Transfer to a blender with a pinch of salt and blend for 3 minutes until very smooth, then add the basil and blend for 1 more minute. Season to taste and then chill – the purée is best served cold with the room temperature ratatouille

  • 25g of basil, roughly chopped

Cook the quinoa in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through with a little bite still. Leave to cool in the fridge


Finely dice the cucumber and pepper and mix through the quinoa with the herbs and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season with plenty of lemon juice and salt


To serve, spoon the chilled purée into each bowl and use the back of the spoon to spread out into a neat circle. Add some ratatouille and garnish with a sprinkle of chopped dill. Serve the chilled tabbouleh on the side

After years spent in modern European kitchens, in 2019 Rishim Sachdeva decided to start cooking plant-based food – and he hasn’t looked back since.

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