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Curried tomato salad

The introduction that they provide to this recipe alone would endear Jinx and Jefferson Morgan to us at britishfoodinamerica; “… even if your tomatoes are tasteless pink tennis balls, this treatment will give them a lift.” Happily, however, there is a lot more to like about their collection of recipes, The Sugar Mill Caribbean Cookbook. They write with a personable voice; they speak to their reader as generous friends willing to share not only the considerable experience they have gained in the restaurant business, but also the obvious joy they have found in their adopted home on Tortuga.

Their food displays evidence both of the islands and of their California backgrounds; an emphasis on fresh ingredients but also a willingness to do what Caribbean people have done for centuries, and import foods (like apples) that are not indigenous. This is the Caribbean, however, and a British inflection does mark some of their recipes--like this one, a pair of other excellent and recognizably Caribbean curries, and some simple soups that are shocking in their balanced and sublime intensity of flavor.

This simple salad is a snap to assemble and does transform even those wintry pink tennis balls. This bfia version of the original recipe is the only way the Editor even tries to use fresh tomatoes out of season. About six servings depending on the size of your tomatoes and the self-discipline of your diners.


-3 tomatoes, peeled seeded and roughly chopped

-2 or 3 minced scallions

-salt and pepper

-hot sauce

-generous ½ cup mayonnaise

-a heaped Tablespoon or more curry powder

-about 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

-greens or some hollowed out tomatoes

  1. Toss together the tomatoes, scallions, salt, pepper and hot sauce; refrigerate the mixture.
  2. Stir the curry powder into the mayonnaise to combine them, then gently fold the cilantro into the dressing.
  3. Fold the dressing into the tomato mixture, gently folding them together in turn.
  4. Chill for at least an hour if you have the time and serve, either over greens of your chice or spooned into hollowed tomatoes.


- The may be simple but it also is pure genius and we have not found something like it elsewhere. There is, however, one crucial precaution. The dressing will become unpleasantly runny unless you ruthlessly eliminate not only the seeds but also the gelatinous glop that envelops them.

- The Morgans’ salad is a little different from ours. They use red onion instead of scallions and parsley instead of cilantro, and a little more mayonnaise and less curry powder, and no hot sauce at all.

- Elsewhere in their cookbook they recommend Sunny Caribbee curry powder; take them up on the tip. It is an excellent Thing We Like. We use hot sauce in this salad because Sunny Caribbee is a mild curry. Available online from