|Alternative names||Ratatouille niçoise|
|Place of origin||France|
|Region or state||Provence|
|Main ingredients||Vegetables, (tomatoes, onions, zucchini, aubergine (eggplant), bell peppers), garlic, marjoram, fennel and basil or bay leaves and thyme|
Ratatouille ( RAT-?-TOO-ee, French: [?atatuj]; Occitan: ratatolha [?ata'tu]) is a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish, originating in Nice, and sometimes referred to as ratatouille niçoise. Recipes and cooking times differ widely, but common ingredients include tomato, garlic, onion, zucchini, aubergine (eggplant), bell pepper, and some combination of leafy green herbs common to the region.
The word ratatouille derives from the Occitan ratatolha and is related to the French ratouiller and tatouiller, expressive forms of the verb touiller, meaning "to stir up". From the late 18th century, in French, it merely indicated a coarse stew. The modern ratatouille - tomatoes as a foundation for sautéed garlic, onion, zucchini, aubergine (eggplant), bell pepper, marjoram, fennel and basil, or bay leaf and thyme, or a mix of green herbs like herbes de Provence - does not appear in print until c. 1930.
The Guardians food and drink writer, Felicity Cloake, wrote in 2016 that, considering ratatouille's relative recent origins (it first appeared in 1877), there exists a great variety of methods of preparation for it. The Larousse Gastronomique claims "according to the purists, the different vegetables should be cooked separately, then combined and cooked slowly together until they attain a smooth, creamy consistency", so that (according to the chair of the Larousse's committee Joël Robuchon) "each [vegetable] will taste truly of itself."
Similar dishes exist in many cuisines. These include: pisto (Castilian-Manchego, Spain), samfaina (Catalan, Spain), tombet (Majorcan), ciambotta, caponata and peperonata (Italy), briám and tourloú (Greek), ?ak?uka and türlü (Turkish), ajapsandali (Georgian), lecsó (Hungarian) and zaalouk (Moroccan). Different parts of the Indian subcontinent have their own versions of winter vegetable stew. Gujarat makes Undhiyu, Kerala Avial, and Bengal Sukto. Confit byaldi is a variation of the dish invented by Michel Guérard.