Kachumbari is a refreshing Kenyan vegetable salad. It is also popular in Tanzania and surrounding countries. Tomatoes and onions are tossed with cilantro to create the base for this salad. I also added diced avocados, cucumbers, and red chile peppers with a squeeze of lime juice. These ingredients are optional based on the region. Thinly sliced cabbage is often added in Tanzania. This is a great summer salad to serve with Nyama Choma (grilled meat) and ugali (maize porridge) or pilau (rice pilaf).
The vegetables can be diced or thinly sliced depending on the region. I chose to dice everything to make it easier for Claire to eat.
The onions are soaked in salt water to soften and remove some of the bite before adding to the salad. Drain in a fine mesh sieve for about 10 minutes after soaking to remove all of the water.
I added one small red pepper. Bump it up to two and don’t remove the seeds for extra heat. If desired, you can also add a drizzle of olive oil or substitute lemon for the lime juice.
This Kachumbari is best immediately after preparing.
Kachumbari (Kenyan Tomato and Onion Salad)
Adapted from Cafe Sigrun
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 avocado, pit removed, peeled, and diced
1-2 small red chile pepper, stem removed and finely diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Juice from 1 lime
Place the chopped onion in a medium bowl and add just enough water to cover. Stir in 2 teaspoons salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Drain for 10 minutes in a fine mesh sieve.
In a large bowl, gently toss together the drained onions, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red peppers, and cilantro.
Squeeze lime juice over the salad to taste and if desired, season with additional salt. Serve immediately.