Sizzled Seedy Tomato Salad

Photo Credit: Peden + Munk


I fucking love a sizzled seedy moment because it's a way to add texture and a bright burst of flavor. Whole toasted spices sizzled in fat (or, as it is known in India, chhonk or tadka) only take 2 minutes to prepare, and you don’t have to chop a damn thing. Take this technique and use it with your favorite spices (mustard seeds, anyone?), and spoon it on whatever you’re cooking that needs a little something-something.

Active Time: 20 Mins

Total Time: 25 mins



  • 2 large juicy ripe tomatoes (20 ounces)
  • 1 small garlic clove


  • Kosher salt and Flaky sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mixed whole spices (fennel, cumin, mustard seed, coriander)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed seeds (sesame, poppy, nigella)
  • Toasted or grilled bread, for serving (optional)
  • Red pepper flakes


  • ⅔ cup plain whole milk yogurt

1. Prep the tomatoes and yog:

  • Cut 2 large juicy ripe tomatoes into large irregularly shaped pieces, discarding the eye and core.
  • In a shallow serving bowl, combine ⅔ cup whole milk yogurt and 1 finely grated garlic clove; stir well and season with kosher salt.

2. Toast the spices:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon mixed whole spices, and 1 tablespoon mixed seeds. Cook over medium, stirring and swirling occasionally until the spices begin to pop, sizzle, and turn fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the chopped tomatoes–they will sizzle and sputter! That’s okay, just be careful! Stir gently to coat in the spices and oil and allow them to warm through. We are not looking to cook the tomatoes, just to warm them and infuse them with the flavors of all the spices. Season with flaky sea salt.
  • Spoon the tomatoes and all their juice on top of the yogurt. Season with red pepper flakes and more flaky sea salt – this is very important in carrying flavor through all that fat. Without it, the oil won’t taste like much. Serve warm.

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