5 Ingredients or Fewer

Tadka Salad Dressing

October 31, 2019
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Tadka is a foundation technique of Indian cooking, wherein you temper spices in oil. Using this infused oil instead of just plain oil is another way of injecting flavor into a salad dressing. Tadka can be made with a variety of spices, expanding the possibilities for flavoring your salad. —Annada Rathi

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon tahini sauce or peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Pour oil in the smallest pot you have. Turn the heat to medium. After 2 minutes, add black mustard seeds. Keep an eye on the oil. Once the seeds stop popping, turn the heat off and let the tadka cool down.
  2. Add rest of the ingredients and whisk well. The tadka salad dressing is ready. You can make it a day in advance, too, and refrigerate and carry to work the next day.
  3. My ideal salad components which complement this dressing are: greens divided into arugula and lettuce, green olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, pepitas, soaked walnuts, fresh mozzarella, apple or pear, and homemade croutons.
  4. Note: You can replace mustard seeds with fenugreek seeds, carom seeds, or nigella seeds.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizzy Christman
    Lizzy Christman
  • Annada Rathi
    Annada Rathi
  • Kulsum Motiwala
    Kulsum Motiwala
To some people's frustration, I like to talk about food before cooking, while cooking, while eating and of course after eating.

7 Reviews

Kulsum M. July 19, 2022
Can we store it in fridge?
Annada R. July 19, 2022
Yes! The dressing will stay well in the fridge for a week at least.
LULULAND April 21, 2022
I haven't made this yet but for your ideal salad, you mention soaked walnuts. What are they soaked in? Thanks
Annada R. April 21, 2022
Soaked in water. I try to soak them for at least 30 min in water, which removes the tinge of bitterness. Just love how they become creamier after soaking, a trick I learned from my Persian friend.
LULULAND April 21, 2022
Thank you, sounds like a great idea!
Lizzy C. April 16, 2022
I absolutely LOVED this! I did find that it benefitted from adding a bit more lime juice than was called for, as well as some salt, but overall it made for a delicious salad that was unusual but subtle and elegant. I'll definitely be making this again!
Annada R. April 18, 2022
Thank you very much for your feedback, Lizzy! I'm glad you customized it as per your preference.