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Charred tomatoes with cold yoghurt

This recipe by Ottolenghi is sophisticated, complex and so beautifully rich in flavour.
Yet simple and easy to prepare – anyone of us can do it!
I added some extra’s to make it a meal.


  • 350g Cherry tomatoes (try using different coloured ones)
  • 3tbsp Olive Oil
  • ¾ tsp Cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp Light brown sugar
  • 3 Garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 3 Springs thyme
  • 3 Springs fresh oregano
  • 1 Lemon (Zest: ½ grated and kept aside, other half cut into 3 wide strips)
  • 250g Extra-thick Greek yoghurt (cold from the fridge) *replace with low-fat yoghurt if you are looking to limit kilojoules. Low-fat options also have less sugar (from Lactose)  than full cream/double thick variants.
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ tsp Chilli Flakes *can be left out so that the whole family can enjoy the dish or replaced with Chipotle flakes or a pinch of Paprika
  • Twist: Adding roasted chickpeas and grilled aubergines


  • 1 tin of Chickpeas
  • Drained, rinsed and dried properly
  • Placed in a baking tray and lightly cover in olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt.
  • Make sure it’s all covered and keep aside to roast with the tomatoes later


  • Sliced into thin slices (length wise, for aesthetic purposes only)
  • Lightly brush with olive oil and add some salt
  • Grill in a pan, stove top while the rest are roasting in the oven
  • Keep aside until plating


  1. Pre heat oven to 200°c
  2. Place the tomatoes in a deep baking dish, big enough for a single layer but still close together
  3. Add: Oil, sugar, garlic, thyme, oregano sprigs, cumin seeds, lemon strips and a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. I also add a splash of lemon juice.
  4. Mix together.
  5. Place the dish with tomatoes in the oven and roast for 20 minutes *if you are adding chickpeas to your dish, place them in the oven as well
  6. Once the tomatoes start to pop and the liquid is bubbling, turn on the grill and leave for 5-7 minutes. Remove the chickpeas from the oven at this point, before grilling starts.
  7. The tomatoes should get nice and charred on top before taking it out.
  8. Yoghurt: Mix the grated lemon zest and ¼ tsp salt into the yoghurt and place it into the fridge until plating the dish.

Plating of the dish (no culinary skill required)

  • This should happen quickly as the contrast of temperatures add to the taste sensation
  • Spread the yoghurt on a serving dish and spoon the tomatoes on top.
  • Adding as much of the sauce as you prefer
  • Add chickpeas and aubergines on top or slightly off centre
  • Serve with sliced bread and lemon wedges
  • *recommending Ciabatta or sourdough bread

This can be served as a starter, side dish or mezze meal – Bon appetite!