Do you love trying new things? How about delicious and fresh salads? If so, then you will love Kachumbari! This East African salad is popular across the African continent but can be found in different forms and variations depending on where you are.
Why I love Kachumbari!
Kachumbari is a delicious and fresh Kenyan vegetable salad famous across the entire continent. It is made with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, avocado, and other ingredients and can be served as a primary or side dish. Kachumbari goes well with ugali, rice (pilau), mukimo, biryani, eggs, sausages, and the famous Kenyan barbecue.
The exact origin of Kachumbari is unknown, but it is believed that the dish originated in Kenya. If you ever wonder what Kachumbari is called in English, the word “Kachumbari” comes from the Swahili language and means “to chop”.
Avocado: Fresh avocados are the star of this dish. If you want to make Kachumbari but don’t have avocado on hand, I recommend adding some mango for a bit of extra flavor and sweetness.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a key ingredient of Kachumbari, so you need fresh tomatoes that aren’t too ripe. Use Roma or Campari tomato types for best results as these varieties have less juice than others.
Onions: Onions are another ingredient in the salad. You can use red or white onions depending on what type of flavors you like best! Slice them thinly and put them in salted water to remove the pungency.
Cucumber: Cucumbers are another ingredient in the salad, and they should be fresh from your garden or grocery store if possible. You can use English cucumbers too! They have fewer seeds than regular ones and don’t need to be peeled either – just slice them up into little pieces before adding them to the bowl with the other ingredients.
Lemon juice: Use the lemon juice to give the Kachumbari its signature tart and acidic flavor. You can use fresh-squeezed or store-bought lemon juice – whatever you have on hand!
Parsley/cilantro: Freshly chopped parsley or cilantro adds a nice herbaceous flavor. You can also use dried herbs if that’s what you have on hand!
Salt, pepper: Use salt and pepper to season Kachumbari salad, just adjust the amount according to your taste preferences before serving.
How To Prepare Kachumbari Salad?
The first step is to slice the onions thinly and add salted water to remove the pungency. Then, slice the tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado into cubes or strips before adding them to the bowl with other ingredients like lemon juice and parsley/cilantro. You can serve the salad as a side dish for any main course meal such as grilled meat, fish, or poultry dishes, together with Pilau rice or Chapati bread.
If you like to get creative in the kitchen, try making your variations of Kachumbari. You can add any other vegetables that might be on hand: carrots (sliced), bell peppers (diced), green beans (chopped), okra pods, corn kernels, etc.
When serving Kachumbari as a side dish, you can experiment with the dressing. Try adding some diced fresh ginger, minced garlic cloves, or chopped jalapeño peppers for a bit of heat. Enjoy!
How to Store Kachumbari Salad?
It is best to store Kachumbari in the fridge for three days. Just make you cover it tightly, and try not to let any air get into the container so that nothing spoils or goes bad on you! If you have a leftover salad from last night’s dinner, just put it in a container and pop it in the fridge. In the morning, you can enjoy a tasty breakfast side dish!
Tips & Tricks
- Chop all the ingrediens before assembling the Kachumbari salad.
- If you’re not a fan of raw onions, soak them in cold water for about 15 minutes before adding them to the salad.
- You can make the Kachumbari salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve. Make sure you cover it tightly and put some plastic wrap over the top so that nothing spills out.
- Add fresh jalapeno peppers or chili powder to taste for a spicy kick. This will make your Kachumbari even more delicious!
- If you’re looking for something cool and refreshing, try adding diced apple or watermelon to the salad. The sweetness of the watermelon will contrast nicely with the tart lemon juice and herbs.
- 2 Onions
- 4 Tomatoes
- ½ Cucumber
- 1 Avocado
- 2 tablespoons Avocado oil
- ½ cup Fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup Parsley or cilantro
- Salt and Pepper
- First, slice the onions thinly and put them in salted water to remove the pungency.
- Then, slice the tomatoes, cucumber, and avocado and put them in the bowl.
- Add avocado oil and lemon juice.
- Chop up the cilantro or parsley.
- Add some salt and pepper and mix them well together.
- The salad can be served with any main dish and is particularly lovely with any grilled meat or fish.