A recipe for Kachumbari (Kenyan Tomato and Onion Salad)! This refreshing salad is packed with diced vegetables and seasoned simply with a drizzle of lime juice and olive oil.
Kachumbari is a refreshing Kenyan vegetable salad. It is also popular in Tanzania and surrounding East African countries. Tomatoes and onions are tossed with cilantro to create the base for this salad.
I also added diced avocados (optional), cucumbers, and red chile peppers with a squeeze of lime juice and drizzle of olive oil. 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 substitute lemon for the lime juice.
This Kachumbari is best immediately after preparing.
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Kachumbari (Kenyan Tomato and Onion Salad) Recipe
Adapted from Cafe Sigrun
Kachumbari (Kenyan Tomato and Onion Salad)
- 1 small 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 peppers stem removed and finely diced
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
- 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, drizzle with olive oil, and if desired, season with additional salt. Serve immediately.