The first time I made these Indian-spiced tomatoes I was a student in the professional program at Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco. When this recipe for Indian-spiced tomatoes landed in my hands, it sounded like an abomination. Why cover delicious, in-season tomatoes with strong spices, chilies, ginger and onions? Not to mention brown sugar and vinegar! Just say no.
Well, I was wrong. So wrong. Just say YES!
Fifteen years later, this recipe is still in strong rotation. When I grill fish, chicken or steak and want something tangy and flavorful on the side, these Indian-spiced tomatoes are the answer. They are perfectly suited for rice, quinoa or couscous because the grains soak up the turmeric-tinged juices that accumulate in the bowl.
One tip to keep in mind: Don’t burn the spices. You want to release the aroma of the ginger, garlic and mustard seed and bring the flavors to life. If they get too dark and smell burned, they will taste acidic and metallic.
Indian-Spiced Marinated Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and cut in ½-inch wedges
- 1 bunch green onions, about 5-6, green and white parts sliced thin
- 2 Serrano chilies, seeded and diced
- 2 teaspoons crushed black pepper
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1/3 cup freshly grated ginger
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 cup organic canola oil
- 3/4 cup champagne vinegar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- In a large glass or ceramic bowl, combine the tomatoes, green onions and chilies; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together black pepper, mustard seed, ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin and paprika.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Le Creuset, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When oil just begins to smoke, add spice mixture and stir for 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Pour oil and spices over tomato mixture.
- Return the pan to the stove and over medium-high heat add the vinegar, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a low boil and stir. Pour the vinegar mixture over tomato mixture (it's ok if the vinegar is warm). Stir gently to combine and set aside.
- When the tomatoes come to room temperature, cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Tomatoes will keep, if sealed in an airtight container, 3-4 days.
Recipe adapted from Tante Marie Cooking School.