I’m quite excited to introduce this tomato salad. It is inspired by my Indian palate, full of flavours with sesame, jaggery and tamarind. These ingredients not only impart a unique, complementing taste to the salad but also have high nutritional value. Once you master this combination, you will not go for those creamy store-bought dressings.
Before we move on to the recipe, let’s have a look at the health benefits of its various ingredients:
Cherry tomatoes – these sweet little veggies are super low in calories and packed with fibre, vitamin C, potassium and several other vitamins and minerals essential for good health.
Sesame seeds and sesame oil – one of the first oil seeds known to mankind, sesame seeds have been widely used in culinary as well as in traditional medicine for their nutritive, preventive and curative properties. They are primary sources of omega-6 fatty acids, phenolic antioxidants, protein, folic acid, vitamins and minerals.
Tamarind – is also an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that improves digestion, heart health, circulation and nerve function.
Jaggery – a favourite sweetening agent, it is rich in minerals since unlike sugar it is derived from unrefined sugarcane juice. It is an energy booster, digestive and cleansing agent, and a great remedy for anaemia, asthma, joint pain and menstrual pain.
I’m forcing myself to stop here. The list is a bit longer this time, but I couldn’t help it 🙂
You will need (to serve 4):
Cherry tomatoes – 200 gms, quartered
carrot – 1, chopped
cucumber – 1, chopped
green grapes – 200 gms, halved
red onion – 1, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds – 50 gms
sesame oil – 1 tbsp
jaggery – 2 tbsp
tamarind – size of 1/2 a lime
himalayan pink salt (also called black salt) – 1/2 tsp
chilli flakes – 1 tsp
cilantro – chopped, 1/4 cup
Prepare jaggery syrup by mixing jaggery with 1 tbsp water and heating until it dissolves and reaches syrupy consistency. Soak the tamarind in 1 tbsp hot water for 10 minutes and squeeze out the juice. Cool both the syrups and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until the flavours are blended.
Note: You must have noticed that I used very little salt. Since the salad is bursting with flavour, you only need that much salt. Isn’t it getting better and better?
Tip: Black sesame seeds may also be used (I’ve used white here). It has a stronger and more nutty flavour.
Find this salad interesting? Please share your comments.