Tomato-Cheese Masala Toast
A few weeks back, we went to New York and visited cookbook author Priya Krishna at her home in Brooklyn to do some cooking. Priya had recently written a cookbook called Indian-ish, and we were thrilled to collaborate with her on a special 3-pack collection of spices made especially with her recipes in mind. Indian-ish is designed for people who want to make delicious Indian food but don't know where to start. Her book and our spices are a match made in heaven, as Priya makes the wonderful spices common in India that many people are afraid to play with completely accessible. On that note, we've put together a bundle you can buy right here, which includes her cookbook and our spice collection. So, get on it, and get cooking! ;)
This recipe is the perfect place to start for those that are just getting their feet wet with Indian-ish food, as it simply consists of toast with tomatoes, melted cheese, and some Chaat Masala sprinkled on top. But what a revelation it is! We're calling it now, Chaat Masala is going to be your new little party trick you pull out to wow your friends. And what is Chaat Masala you ask? Hugely popular in India, it provides a funky umami and saltiness to food that is irreplaceable. It's one of the most popular spice blends in India, most often utilized in "chaat" and Indian street food, but found in all sorts of dishes. It can vary depending on who makes it, but common ingredients are: amchoor (dried mango powder), black salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger, mint, ajwain (similar to caraway or fennel), and hing. These are the ingredients we use for our blend and it is superb.
So, check out the full recipe below, taken directly from Indian-ish, and then scroll down to watch the video of Priya and our very own Meherwan Irani (founder and chef of Chai Pani/Spicewalla) putting it together and very much enjoying it.
from Indian-ish, (courtesy Priya Krishna and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) page 126:
Tomato-Cheese Masala Toast
Makes 2 toasts (because that's usually how many I eat in one sitting)
- 2 slices bread, any kind (I like a very grainy bread, but this combo tastes great on truly anything)
- 1 medium Roma tomato, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (1 ounce)
- 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala, plus more if needed
Tomatoes, cheese, and toasted bread are three things that obviously taste good together. The wild card ingredient in this recipe is CHAAT MASALA, the funky, salty spice blend that brings this simple tomato-cheese toast to an entirely different level. It enhances the flavor of the already umami-filled ingredients and gives the dish a level of crave ability that you just have to taste to believe. This dish is for my rough days, when there's nothing in my fridge except cheese and almost-overripe tomatoes and I want a five-minute dinner (or afternoon snack) that will still feel satisfying. Also, just putting it out there: The best possible accompaniment to tomato-cheese masala toast is a glass of milk. Nothing else cuts through all that salt and keeps you refreshed between bites in quite the same way. Don't knock it till you've tried it!!!
- Toast the bread to the desired toastiness. Evenly top each piece of toast with the tomatoes, followed by the cheese.
- Place the tomato-cheese toasts in a toaster oven (or under the broiler on high) and toast until the cheese has fully melted on top of the tomatoes. (Alternatively, microwave the toasts on high in 30-second intervals, until the cheese has fully melted on top fo the tomatoes.)
- Sprinkle the toasts with the chaat masala, adding more to taste.