You only need half the tabil mixture in this salad, but the remainder can be kept for a few days in the fridge. See ideas for using it in Recipe Notes below.
4 medium-large tomatoes (about 500g / a generous 1 lb) 1 telegraph cucumber 1-2 tsp flaky sea salt Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling ½ lemon or lime Optional: pomegranate molasses for drizzling Tabil 1 Tbsp carraway seeds 1 Tbsp coriander seeds ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes ¾ tsp cumin seeds 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 Put all ingredients for tabil in a spice grinder and grind to a sticky sort of paste. Alternatively, crush with a mortar and pestle.
2 Chop tomatoes roughly the same side as the cucumber. Drain in a sieve. Peel cucumber, cut in half then cut each piece in half lengthways. Scoop out seeds with a teaspoon. Chop cucumber into small dice. Drain in a sieve.
3 When ready to assemble, pat chopped cucumber dry with paper towels and transfer to a bowl. Tip tomatoes onto paper towels and pat dry then add to bowl with cucumber.
Season with salt, then stir through 1-2 teaspoons of tabil, or to taste. Sprinkle a little more on top of the salad. Squeeze over plenty of lemon or lime juice, then drizzle with a little oil. Serve immediately. For a change, drizzle with pomegranate molasses in place of lemon or lime juice.
This Tunisian / Algerian spice mixture is curiously pungent, and quite addictive. Carraway seeds are potent, so don’t be heavy-handed when measuring them because they can overpower everything (in the same way that a little Schezwan pepper can be alluring, but too much can kill your tastebuds and numb your mouth). You only need about a third of the tabil recipe in this dish. Use the remainder as a rub over fish or meats, to flavour dips, or mix into yoghurt and use as a sauce or drizzle over roasted vegetables or grilled meats.