Kachumbari – delicious, healthy and a great side dish

Mention Kachumbari to a Kenyan and they are likely to have their eyes glaze over as they imagine it with their favorite food (most likely Nyama Choma/grilled meat).


This tasty side dish accompanies most meat dishes and is similar to Pico de Gallo.  The standard fare is nyama choma, kachumbari, a vegetable and ugali or chapati. Some people chop the onions really fine, while others just slice them.  It’s a matter of preference, but tasty regardless of how it’s done. Some people add the cilantro, while other opt to go without.  Again, it is a personal choice.

This dish is chock-full of antioxidants (a Livestrong.com article states that “The antioxidants in onions and garlic include organosulfur and allicin, which are compounds that help combat disease, such as atherosclerosis, and supply the potent aroma in these vegetables. The antioxidants in tomatoes include vitamin C, vitamin E and lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that provides the red pigment in tomatoes and helps protect the body against prostate, urinary, intestinal and some stomach cancers. Cilantro contains a plethora of antioxidants, including gallic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid and chlorogenic acid, which may combat cancer cells and increase insulin sensitivity among diabetics, suggests a study published in 2005 in the “International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition.””)


Hmm… pair it with the Ndengu and chapati that we offer, and you are sure to really bulk up your immune system.


5 tomatoes, chopped or thinly sliced
2 small onions, very thinly sliced
1 red chili, cut length-wise into 5 strips
Handful fresh coriander (cilantro/dhania), finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to decorate


Layer the tomatoes, sliced onions, chili and coriander in a large serving bowl. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together and toss this mixture through the salad. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper over the top and serve.

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