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Tanzanian Avocado Salad

Tanzanian Avocado Salad

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In Tanzania, some people serve this salad for breakfast. Cucumber and avocados can be served alongside smoked fish or shellfish, but people from the coast of Tanzania would add a salted fish, such as salted cod.


This recipe is also in Taste of Tanzania: Modern Swahili Recipes for the West, cookbook


  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup or 1 small, thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 Teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  • 1/2 Cup or 1 small, thinly sliced tomato (cut in half, remove seeds, then cut into thin slices)
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 Cup or 1 small grated carrot
  • 3 medium avocados


Calories Per Serving320

Folate equivalent (total)133µg33%

Riboflavin (B2)0.2mg13.1%

Types and How tp Make Tanzanian Salad Recipes

Do you want information about Tanzanian Salad Recipes? On this page, allow us to teach you how to Make Tanzanian Salad Recipes.

Types of Tanzanian Salads

Most of the salads include both fresh and boiled vegetables, sometimes mashed in a paste and they all have a vinegar dressing. A traditional Tanzanian salad is called salad va kamba na parachichi, also known as the avocado dream.

The recipe is prepared with mashed avocados , mixed with rice and beans. Some salads are mixtures of different vegetables, fruits and meat, without grease (only sometimes olive oil).

The Tanzanian salad is a really refreshing salad, made of fresh spinach and fresh vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions) and of course, coconut milk and lime juice.

The salads are laid into glass bowls and ornamented with cucumber, carrot and different herbs. Many times, curry is added to spice up the fresh combination.

There is another salad with is used as a starter to many meals and includes fresh coriander leaves, hot chili pepper, ripe tomatoes, lemon juice and virgin olive oil.

Tanzanian Quinoa Salad with Grapefruit and Avocado

Disclaimer: This page may include affiliate links, and I could earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I personally use and recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

Quinoa’s a fantastic grain (or not a grain, really, but, according to Wikipedia, “a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds”) – not only delicious, but also super healthy. (It’s one of the few complete proteins in the plant world, and it’s high in fiber and calcium.) This Tanzanian Quinoa salad (adapted from a couscous recipe in Marcus Samuelsson’s Discovery of a Continent) is perfect for summer – it’s great at room temperature and pairs nicely with grilled and/or spicy foods.

NOTE: You can cook quinoa like rice or like pasta – for the former, use two cups of water to one cup of quinoa, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water’s absorbed for the latter, just bring a big pot of water to a boil, add the quinoa and cook until it’s done, then drain. I really prefer the pasta-like method – the quinoa ends up lighter and fluffier (plus, it’s easier), where the rice-style way of cooking can leave things a little soggy.

Quinoa salad has always been one of our favorites when it comes to batch cooking for the week, it’s quick to make, packed with veggies and it holds pretty well for a few days. Or you can cook a big batch of quinoa and use it in different preparations throughout the week. Quinoa salad for Monday and Tuesday, quinoa filled taco for Wednesday and Morrocan quinoa on Thursday. You can play around with it and get creative without the extra work. We love it! give it a go and make this Tanzanian Quinoa Salad a part of your weekly routine!

COST PER SERVING: $1.25 (though, to be fair, a lot of that depends on the cost of avocados, which can vary pretty dramatically by season and region)


  • 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 7 ounces of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


Step 1

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa, and boil until cooked, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 2

Peel the grapefruits and remove the pith with a sharp paring knife. Working over a bowl to catch any juice, cut the grapefruit into 1/2-inch pieces.

Step 3

Transfer the quinoa to a large mixing bowl. Add everything else, toss together, and add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at room temperature so the flavors can meld, anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour.

The easiest ways to cook chicken breast and make a delicious guacamole

The easiest way to cook a boneless, skinless chicken breast is to bake it. Set your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and then trim the fat and any gristle off the meat while it heats up. Place the chicken in the hot oven in a lightly greased baking dish or on a lined baking sheet, and let it cook for 18 minutes. Then, check the center of the meat with a thermometer. Your target temp is 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and if it's not there yet, keep baking the chicken in 2 or 3-minute increments.

To make simple guacamole, slice open a ripe avocado, remove the pit, and scoop the green "meat" into a bowl. Mash it lightly with a fork, and then sprinkle over a pinch of garlic powder, a pinch of onion powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and about a tablespoon of lime or lemon juice, then mash and mix everything well. And just like that, you have yourself a delicious serving of guac.

Traditional Tanzanian Cuisines

Tanzanian Cuisines and Traditional Dishes are unique compare to other African foods. This site is bringing you all the cuisines served in Tanzania East Africa.

Most food that makes up Tanzanian cuisine is typical throughout all of East Africa. Meat is not widely consumed in comparison with other areas of the continent.

Cattle are normally slaughtered only for very special occasions, such as a wedding or the birth of a baby. Cattle, sheep, and goats are raised primarily for their milk and the value they contribute to social status. When meat is consumed, however, nyama choma (grilled meat) and ndayu (roasted, young goat) are most popular.

The Tanzanian diet is largely based on starches such as millet, sorghum, beans, pilaf, and cornmeal. A meal that could be considered the country's national dish is ugali , a stiff dough made of cassava flour, cornmeal (maize), millet, or sorghum, and usually served with a sauce containing either meat, fish, beans, or cooked vegetables.

It is typically eaten out of a large bowl that is shared by everyone at the table. Wali (rice) and various samaki (fish) cooked in coconut are the preferred staples for those living in coastal communities.

The introduction of various spices by the Arabs is highly evident in a popular coastal dish, pilau . It consists of rice spiced with curry, cinnamon, cumin, hot peppers, and cloves. Matunda (fruits) and mboga (vegetables) such as plantains, similar to the banana, ndizi (bananas), pawpaw (papaya),

biringani (eggplant), nyana (tomatoes), beans, muhogo (cassava), spinach and other greens, and maize (similar to corn) are frequently eaten, many of which are grown in backyard gardens. Ndizi Kaanga (fried bananas or plantains) is a local dish that is very popular with Tanzanians and tourists alike. In the cities, Indian food is abundant.

Chai (tea), the most widely consumed beverage, is typically consumed throughout the day, often while socializing and visiting with friends and family. Sweet fried breads called vitumbua (small rice cakes) are commonly eaten with chai in the mornings, or between meals as a snack.

Chapatti (fried flat bread), also served with tea, is a popular snack among children. Street vendors commonly sell freshly ground black coffee in small porcelain cups, soft drinks, and fresh juices made of pineapple, oranges, or sugar cane.

Adults enjoy a special banana beer called mbege made in the Kilimanjaro region (northeast Tanzania). Aside from the common serving of fresh fruits or pudding, desserts such as mandazi (deep-fried doughnut-like cakes) are sold by vendors.


The people of Tanzania follow a variety of religions. Roughly one-third of the population is Muslim (believers in Islam) and one-third is Christian. Nearly all of the island of Zanzibar and much of the mainland coastal regions consist of Muslims most Christians live inland. Hinduism and indigenous beliefs make up the majority of the remaining one-third who believe in a specific religion.

The warm Christmas in Tanzania is a special time for Christians. The majority of people are invited to a guest's house for dinner Christmas night. Pilau (rice dish containing spices), chai , and a chicken, red meat, or seafood dish are usually served.

A traditional walk along the beach following dinner may leave some very wet—Christmas falls during East Africa's rainy season. Ramadan is probably the holiest time of the year for Muslims. During this month-long observance, neither food nor drink may be consumed between sunrise and sunset, often a difficult responsibility in the country's warm temperatures.

Eid al-Fitr , the feast that ends the month of fasting, is always eagerly anticipated by Muslims of all ages. In expectation of the feast, vendors sell cassava chips and tamarind juice made from the tamarind (a flat, bean-like, acidic fruit), and some rush to the stores to purchase plantains, fish, dates, and ready-made bags of ugali for the long-awaited meal.

To make certain the feast can take place (and that Ramadan has ended), many gather around to listen to the radio, hoping to hear that the new moon has officially arrived in the night sky. When it is announced, children often dress up (similar to Halloween in the United States) and walk from house to house for cake and lemongrass tea.

Secular (nonreligious) holidays also produce a lot of excitement. On August 8 each year, Farmers and Peasants Day is celebrated. On this day, the country pays tribute and expresses appreciation to farmers and peasants for helping to feed the country and keep agriculture thriving.

Zanzibar, one of the country's islands, has its own celebration every January 12, marking the anniversary of the island's independence from Britain.

Guests are polite and respectful when visiting a Tanzanian home. Loose-fitted clothing is appropriate attire, since most meals are served to diners seated around a floor mat or low table. Prior to the meal, a bowl of water and a towel may be passed around to the diners to wash their hands.

The bowl is passed to the next person with the right hand, as the left one is considered unclean. The right hand should also be used to dip into the ugali , which is commonly served in a communal bowl before the main meal.

Goat, chicken, or lamb is likely to be served, for those who can afford it. Most families eat meat only on special occasions, such as a wedding. A wali (rice) dish and a vegetableor maharage (beans), may also be served along with chai (tea).

Greens are popular side dishes, and are often prepared with coconut and peanuts (Mchicha) or tomatoes and peanut butter (Makubi). Fresh fruit is the most common after-dinner treat, although sweets such as honey or potato cakes may also be offered.

It is acceptable to leave food on a plate at the end of a meal, as this reassures the host that the guest is satisfied. Eating customs vary throughout the country according to ethnic group and religious beliefs.

However, the typical family meal is almost always prepared by the mother and daughters, usually on a wood or charcoal fire in an open courtyard, or in a special kitchen that is often separated from the rest of the house.

The midday meal is usually the largest, consisting of ugali, spinach, kisamuru (cassava leaves), and stew, though kiamshakinywa (breakfast) is seldom forgotten. Spiced milk tea and freshly baked bread are popular in the morning. Men and women in Muslim households (about one-third of Tanzanians) often eat separately. Taboos may also prohibit men from entering the kitchen at all.

Only a little over half of all children in Tanzania attend primary school, according to UNICEF. As an added incentive to attend school, foreign countries (such as the United States) are helping to offer free lunches to students during the day. The Tanzania School Health Program aims to ensure child health, including the maintenance of clean water and periodic physical examinations.

In addition, the program promotes the growth of school gardens to assist in nutritional education. A typical Tanzanian school lunch may be porridge made of millet, groundnuts (peanuts), and sugar, cooked outside in large kettles over an open fire, often accompanied by milk.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cucumber – I used English cucumber, cut in quarters, then sliced.
  • Tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Feel free to use a diced tomato.
  • Onion – Small red onion, sliced thinly.
  • Avocados – Diced. See “FAQs & Expert Tips” for more info on how to tell if your avocado is ripe!


  • Olive Oil – Substitute sunflower, safflower or avocado oil.
  • Lemon Juice – I recommend using freshly squeezed!
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro, chopped.
  • Salt & Pepper – To taste.

Your guide to Tanzanian cuisine

Tanzanians love to get together at open bars or restaurants after work and eat. It’s part of everyday life. And whenever there’s a gathering (that has nothing to do with politics), rest assured that food will be served.

My blog readers and friends I’ve cooked for ask me why our recipes are so reminiscent of Indian and Arab cuisine. Let me take you back in history. We’ll call it Tanzanian History 101 for Food Lovers.

Due to its natural harbor, the island of Zanzibar and the coast of mainland Tanzania became a base for the triangular trade route between East Africa, India, and the Middle East as early as the 8th century.

Indians and Persians brought spices, tea, and many other influences. The traders intermarried with locals and made Tanzania their second home. That could be one reason Tanzanians love chai ya viungo (spiced tea). To make chai ya viungo, boil water with lots of milk and cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. (I like to add black pepper. Try it—you’ll thank me.)

In the late 17th century Oman made Zanzibar its capital and home to its sultan. Mainland Tanzania, however, was colonized by the Portuguese, then by the Germans from 1880. After World War I, the East African territory, including Zanzibar, was claimed by the British and remained under their rule until Tanzania declared its independence in 1961.

British culture never really stuck with Tanzanians, who were already accustomed to the Arab and Indian way of life. The British didn’t intermarry with locals, although they did try to influence Tanzanians’ lifestyle. For example, schoolgirls were taught to bake cakes and cookies and how to use a fork and knife. But most Tanzanians today eat with their hands or a spoon.

Like Creole food, Swahili food (now you know: Swahili is not only a language!) emerged from the mix of these foreign and indigenous coastal influences. It’s why the cuisine includes chapati, samosas, chai, bhajia, halwa, chutney, and biryani—but with its own tastes and preparations.

Not all our dishes have foreign influences, however. We also have a food that is a staple of the Bantu, the main group of indigenous Tanzanians. All Bantu tribes eat one thing in common: ugali . To prepare ugali , boil water, then slowly add a little bit of fine maize flour to make a thin porridge. Stir with a wooden spoon until thick.

People from the northern part of Tanzania prefer matoke , or green bananas steamed and mashed. Other staples eaten all around the country are boiled cassava, sweet potatoes, taro, and, of course, meat and fish. Garlic, onions, and tomatoes are a must in everyday cooking because we love our stews.

We also have local vegetables like mchicha (amaranth), matembere (potato leaves), majani ya kunde (bean leaves), kisamvu (cassava leaves), majani ya maboga (pumpkin leaves), and the list goes on. … I love cassava leaves. All these vegetables are cooked in almost the same way—either with onions and tomatoes, with peanut butter, or, my favorite way, with coconut milk.

Swahili cooking uses lots of spices. The most common are black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cloves, and cardamom. We use cardamom in tea, porridge, rice, ice cream, cakes, vegetables, and almost anything you eat. It’s flavorful and aromatic. Add a few cardamom pods or seeds to your boiling water for tea. I bet you will be hooked.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 24 asparagus spears, trimmed
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions (green onions), green part only
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 ripe Avocados from Mexico, halved and pitted

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Core and cut tomatoes in quarters lengthwise squeeze out seeds. Place, cut side up, on baking sheet.

In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the garlic, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper sprinkle over tomatoes. Roast, turning occasionally, until very soft and shriveled, about 2 and a half hours set aside.

Meanwhile, cut asparagus into thirds crosswise. Cook asparagus in 1 inch of lightly salted water until bright green and firm, 3 to 5 minutes rinse with cold water drain well. In small bowl, toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the scallions set aside.

To prepare dressing: In small bowl, stir remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper set aside. To serve: With a large spoon, scoop Avocado from shells cut each half into 8 slices lengthwise. On each of 8 salad plates, place asparagus and tomatoes in rows top with Avocado slices. Stir dressing drizzle over salads.

How to make Creamy Avocado Dressing

Here’s how it’s made – plonk and blitz!

I use my Nutribullet for dressings and small batch things I blitz. One of the best value kitchen investments I’ve made. (Truth be told, I got it to make cocktails…. but now I use it practically every day for smoothies, pesto, curry pastes, dressings. So much easier to clean than blenders and food processors!)

Avocado Salad Ghanaian Style

There are many avocado salads, but this avocado salad Ghanaian style, a special dish my Ghanaian wife makes for me, is elegant and superb. The spicy groundnut dressing really sets it apart from the competition.

(Photo Attributed to Author: Lablascovegmenu from London)

Avocado Salad Ghanaian Style with Spicy Groundnut Dressing Recipe-

  • 2 avocados, ripe, but not over-ripe and mushy
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. minced red onion
  • 3 tbsp. salted and roasted peanuts
  • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • coarsely chopped peanuts, for garnish , for garnish
  1. Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, remove the pit and cube the flesh.
  2. Place in a bowl with the onions, mushrooms, lemon juice and olive oil, and onion and toss gently.
  3. Grind the peanuts (either use a coffee or spice grinder or just roll a rolling pin over the peanuts) so you have small chunks and mix with the paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, sugar and salt. Sprinkle over the salad mixture and toss gently.
  4. Garnish your authentic Avocado Salad Ghanaian Style with chopped cilantro, some more peanuts, and a sprinkling of Bishop seeds.

Note: This recipe is taken from our African Cuisine pages.

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