Kachumbari – East African Tomato Salad

Kachumbari Kenyan tomato and onion salad on a bowl

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.

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Kachumbari is a commonly eaten in East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania. Some say it is the East African twist on salsa, others call it Kenyan salad. Traditionally, kachumbari is eaten as a salad or side dish. It is usually served with ugali (a stiff cornmeal porridge), or roast meat and fish. However, this tangy Kenyan tomato and onion salad will add an amazing burst of flavour to any dish. It tastes great served with rice or as a sauce or dip for yam and potatoes

kachumbari Kenyan tomato and onion salad

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.

The chilli is optional, depending on personal preference.

Watermelon salad is also inspired by African flavours.

How To Make Kachumbari

African salad is full of onions, which could be quite overpowering. You can take the bite off the onions by soaking in cold water for 10 mins. I soaked the onions with lemon because the salad is tangy anyway.

Red onions soaked in cold water to take the bite off

At the end, I had slightly tangy, mellow onions which worked perfectly with the sweet and tangy taste of the other ingredients. You can add salt instead of lemon as it also helps mellow the strong onion taste.

I added avocado for some creaminess. Be creative and add other ingredients of your choice. Most crunchy vegetables will work well in kachumbari.

Kachumbari Kenyan tomato and onion salad on a bowl


Abi Olayiwola
Refreshing Kenyan tomato and onion salad which is bursting with flavours. It is great as a salad, side-dish or eaten on its own.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine African, Kenyan
Servings 4
Calories 184 kcal


  • 1 Red onion small
  • 3 Beef tomatoes
  • 1 cup Coriander
  • 1/4 Cucumber medium
  • 1 Avocado small
  • 1 Chilli
  • 1 Lemon big, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt a pinch


  • Chop the onions and soak it in cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Pour in a colander to drain after 10 mins.
  • Wash and chop the other ingredients apart from the lemon.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze in the juice of the lemon with a pinch of salt.
  • Serve with your favorite dish.


Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 4gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 21mgPotassium: 1008mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2588IUVitamin C: 74mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Kachumbari
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