I will be sharing the recipe for kachumbari today. As we are getting to the last days of summer and tomato plants are giving their last set of fruits, I’m having to come up with more creative ways to use tomatoes, other than freezing it. What better way than to use up those tomatoes than this East African tomato and onion salad with flavours which come together nicely to explode in the mouth.
What Is Kachumbari Salad?
Kachumbari is commonly eaten in East African countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is also referred to as Kenyan salad and Tanzania kachumbari. Some say it is the East African twist on salsa, and so call it kachumbari salsa. This East African salad is similar to the Indian cachumber salad, which makes sense as there is a lot of Indian influences in East African cuisine.
Depending on the country, it can be served as a side dish or condiment with meals like ugali (a stiff cornmeal porridge), nyama choma (roast meat), pilau etc. However, this tangy Kenyan tomato and onion salad will add an amazing burst of flavour to any dish. It tastes great served with rice dishes or as a sauce/dip for chips, or just eaten on its own.
Kachumbari is so quick and easy to make; and apart from the refreshing flavours of this African salad, it is also full of healthy natural ingredients which are good for the body.
Here's what you need...
- Red onion small
- Beef tomatoes
- Cucumber medium
- Avocado small
- Extra virgin olive oil
A few notes about the ingredients...
- To slice or chop: How you prepare the vegetable is a matter of preference. You can slice or chop the vegetables depending on what you find easier. I prefer chopped vegetables in this salad because I find it easier to scoop with a spoon.
- Onion: I find raw onion, which is one of the main ingredients of this Kenyan salad overpowering. If you are like me and want take reduce the bite off the onions; you can either soak it in cold water for 10 mins with either salt or lemon. I soaked the onions in lemon for this recipe and at the end, I had slightly tangy, mellow onions which worked perfectly with the sweet and tangy taste of the other ingredients in the salad.
- Added Vegetables: Traditionally kachumbari is prepared with tomatoes, onions and chilli, but you can add other vegetables. I added avocado for some creaminess, be creative and add other ingredients of your choice. Most crunchy vegetables will work well in kachumbari.
How To Make It
Squeeze the juice from the lemon and keep aside.
Chop the onions, pour in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Add a few drops of the lemon into the water. Leave for 10 mins, then pour in a colander to drain.
Wash and chop the tomatoes, coriander, cucumber, avocado and chilli.
Add into a bowl with the chopped onions. Pour in the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and toss.
Add more lemon juice or salt if required.
Other African inspired salads to try...
- Squeeze the juice from the lemon and keep aside.
- Chop the onions, pour in a bowl and add enough water to cover. Add a few drops of the lemon into the water. Leave for 10 mins, then pour in a colander to drain.
- Wash and chop the tomatoes, coriander, cucumber, avocado and chilli.
- Add into a bowl with the chopped onions. Pour in the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and toss.
- Add more lemon juice or salt if required.