Caprese Salad With Sweet Tamarind Dressing

Caprese Salad With Sweet Tamarind Dressing
Christopher Testani

Italy may be a long way from India, but the two countries’ cuisines combine beautifully in this simple-yet-delicious dish. A traditional caprese salad usually involves just tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil—but Indian influences kick this version up a notch.



Adding a homemade tamarind dressing creates a wonderful depth of flavor for a caprese salad unlike any you’ve tried before.

Recipe by Nik Sharma,

Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

60 min.

  • Tamarind Dressing:
  • 1⁄4 cup sour tamarind pulp or paste
  • 1⁄2 cup boiling water
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp jaggery or muscovado sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried urfa biber chili flakes or dried Aleppo pepper flakes
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salad:
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 4 to 6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut crosswise into four pieces
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 tsp fine sea salt
Make the dressing: Put tamarind pulp in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour.
Massage and squeeze pulp or paste to soften. Press through a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a small bowl, discarding the solids.
Put strained tamarind in blender and add olive oil, lime juice, jaggery, coriander, salt, chili flakes, and black pepper. Pulse on high until well-combined.
Make the salad: Put the tomatoes in a large bowl and add mozzarella, cilantro, olive oil, and salt.
Add half the tamarind dressing and toss gently to coat evenly. Serve with the remaining tamarind dressing on the side.