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.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon tahini sauce or peanut butter
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
Freshly ground black pepper


Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4
Note: You can replace mustard seeds with cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, carom seeds, or nigella seeds.