Turn up a traditional French tomato tart with a spicy Indian achaar twist. In this case, achaar is a tomato relish with Indian spices.
By Chitra Agrawal
The first time I had a Tarte à la Tomate prepared by my friend Paul’s mother Brigitte, I wanted to eat the whole thing. In her recipe, she calls for mustard to be spread on the bottom of the crust so instead I subbed in my achaar (which has black mustard seeds) and the ‘Tarte à la Tomato Achaar’ was born. It is a total spicy hit.
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ stick unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup ice water (may need a little more if the air is really dry)
- 4 tomatoes
- 3 tbsp Brooklyn Delhi tomato achaar
- 1 cup grated cheese (emmental, gruyere and parmesan), have also used cheddar
- 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley or oregano
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- fleur de sel
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Prepare the dough. Combine flour, salt and butter in cuisinart or bowl. Add ice water slowly while pulsing in cuisinart until it gets clumpy. Gather the dough together, being careful not to over handle it (if overworked it won’t be light and flaky). Cover in saran wrap and if you have the time, let it rest in the fridge for 20-30min (or longer if you want to prepare the dough ahead of time, allowing it to return to room temp before working with it).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough to be large enough to cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides. Add additional flour as you roll to keep it from sticking. When finished, roll the dough around your rolling pin and unroll it onto your tarte plan (like Brigitte does in the video). Press the dough down so it fits snug into the pan, cutting off excess dough that falls outside the top of the pan.
- Prick a few holes in the dough to prevent it from puffing up. Cook it for about 10 min at 450°F or until it begins to brown.
- Spread the tomato achaar on the dough. Layer half of the combination of gruyere, emmental and parmesan cheeses. Then layer your sliced tomatoes and top with another layer of cheese. Cook it for about 20 min at 450°F. The crust needs to be “golden to brown” and the cheese should be nice and melted and almost browned and crusty.
- Sprinkle the finished tarte with fleur de sel, chopped parsley, and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm or cold.
Chitra writes the food blog, The ABCD's of Cooking, which chronicles her adventures cooking American Born Confused Desi recipes. When she is not recipe blogging, Chitra can be found hosting her online cooking show and a supper club featuring Indian-inspired, vegetarian cuisine. She also teaches cooking classes and sells Indian street foods (sometimes yummy Indian tacos!) at events and artisanal markets in Brooklyn. Her cooking has appeared in the New York Times Dining Journal and she is a contributor to The Huffington Post, Gojee, The Daily Meal and Brooklyn Based.