Swahili Food Recipe: Kachumbari, Tanzanian Spicy Slaw

Swahili Food Recipe: Kachumbari, Tanzanian Spicy Slaw

Discover The Formula – How to Make Kachumbari

This United Republic of Tanzanian hot and spicy Slaw formula is based on a popular salad named Kachumbari, which can be found on dinner tables throughout the Rift Valley’s Great Lakes region (Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Congo, and Kenya). This spicy Kachumbari slaw is refreshing and crisp with a peppery flavor, and it only takes minutes to make. The kachumbari recipe involves a variety of fresh veggies found in any United Republic of Tanzanian market: tomatoes, cabbage, onions, fresh lime, and cilantro. Kachumbari in English is known as salsa. The recipe for kachumbari inclusion of the Eastern African spice combination Berbere to convert the kachumbari salad into a very simple yet tasty African fusion cuisine is what allows this kachumbari Kenya slaw to sing.

Berbere is the preferred spice combination in many Horn of Africa cuisines (Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea), but it has also attained popularity in the remainder of the African continent and the rest of the globe. Berbere has a spicy warmth up front, with seductive notes from cloves and cardamom and a gentle maple-bitters taste from fenugreek to smooth it off. Our Berbere mixture is so adaptable that you’ll want to keep it on hand in the kitchen to play with, from soups to rubs for roasted meats and grilled vegetables.

How to Prepare Kachumbari

Kachumbari Ingredients

  •  One tiny green cabbage, 1/4″ thickly shredded
  •  one finely sliced cucumber
  •  two peeled and shredded carrots
  •  1/2 finely sliced yellow onion
  •  1/2 cup cilantro, plucked leaves
  •  3/4 pound tomatoes, chopped into wedges (any Salad Tomato or Roma tomatoes)
  •  a third of a cup of mayonnaise
  •  one lime, zested and squeezed
  •  two teaspoons of salt (optional)
  •  2-3 teaspoon Piquant Post Berbere ingredients Blend (fixed to your warmth preference)


The chili peppers in Berbere give it a spicy kick. Begin by adding a tsp at a time as well as tasting the dressing prior to actually adding more to achieve the appropriate desired heat level.

The Kachumbari Salsa should always be dressed the right way before serving.

If you don’t eat this kachumbari ya cabbage within an hour of dressing it, the slaw will grow mushy and lose its crunch.

To make kachumbari ya kabichi, buy pre-shredded vegetables like carrots or cabbage at the market to save time.

Optional additions offer character and taste, but if you do not have them to make this kachumbari recipe Tanzania style, don’t worry.


  1. Tear cabbage by cutting it into quarters, eliminating the core, and cutting it into 1/4″ slices against the grain. Using a grater, grind peeled carrots into desired thickness shreds. With a mandoline slicer or sharp knife, finely chop the onion and cucumber.
  2.  In a big mixing basin, combine all of the veggies and the cilantro leaves that have been selected.
  3.  Combine mayonnaise, one lime juice and zest, Berbere spice, and salt in a different small bowl
  4.  Toss the veggies with the sauce till they are uniformly coated. Toss the salad gently with the tomatoes.

How to Make the Best Kachumbari in Different Ways

How to Make Kachumbari with Avocado

Avocado kachumbari is a well known delicacy in Kenya. The Kenyan kachumbari made from avocado uses a simple kachumbari recipe. To prepare this Kenyan kachumbari, you use tomatoes, red onions, cilantro leaves, avocado, berbere spice, salt and vinegar/ lime juice. You then mix all the ingredients to make a kachumbari with avocado slaw. Making kachumbari is easy and provides room for flexibility on ingredients used.

Kachumbari with Avocado
Kachumbari with Avocado

How to Make Kachumbari with Vinegar

Vinegar is mainly used to add a tangy taste to kachumbari, as well as to preserve the fresh ingredients for kachumbari used. The kachumbari salad recipe with vinegar is the same as indicated above, you however replace the lime juice with vinegar. 

How to Make Kachumbari for Pilau

This kachumbari sauce recipe is a great way to add some flavor to your dishes. The Swahili kachumbari sauce is made with tomatoes, onion, chili peppers, and garlic, and it’s perfect for spicing up chicken, fish, or vegetables. If you like your food with a little heat, then you’ll love this kachumbari recipe Kenya sauce. Give it a try the next time you’re looking for a new way to add some flavor to your meal.

Kachumbari Sauce Recipe


– 1 tablespoon olive oil

– 1 small onion, diced

– 1 red bell pepper, diced

– 1 green bell pepper, diced

– 2 tablespoons white vinegar

– 1 tablespoon sugar

– 1 teaspoon salt

– ½ teaspoon black pepper

– 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, bell peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper, and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cilantro and cook until the sauce is heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Blend the cooked vegetables into a kachumbari tamu sauce.
  5. Serve over grilled chicken or fish.

Kachumbari Substitutes and Alternatives

Use whichever vegetables you choose to make the best kachumbari recipe and are in season, just like any other salad. Broccoli salad (broccoli stems chopped into thin sticks), mushrooms, mango, sliced jicama, and red onion are some other options to choose from.

Serve the kachumbari east African salad with a steak of smoked salmon or prawns for a light summer supper.

Vegans can make the kachumbari Tanzania dish completely vegan by using their favorite mayonnaise substitute.

Try this Kachumbari salad as a topper on a roast pork Barbecue sandwich or a roasted Portobello mushroom hamburger for a South (American) fusion flair. If you are in Kenya, ugali nyama choma kachumbari is a famous delicious combination.

Pilau and Kachumbari

Pilau is a spiced rice dish that is popular in many parts of the world, including India, Africa, and the Middle East. Kachumbari is a chopped salad made with tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers. It is commonly served as a side dish in Kenya. Pilau kachumbari are often served together mostly in coastal restaurants. Pilau na kachumbari are a house hold name in the Swahili culture and should you visit Tanzania or Kenya, you should try the duo. They are also both versatile dishes that can be served with a variety of other foods.

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