Pilau & Kachumbari (Tanzanian Spiced Rice & Salad)

I’ve been enjoying leftover maharage all day long, and decided it was time to try another tantalizing Tanzanian recipe for pilau to accompany it. Wow. What a treat. And since Miriam Rose Kinuda insisted that pilau must be served with kachumbali, I trekked out into the dark and wet to harvest a head of cabbage and a few sprigs of cilantro. So worth it. Since the pepper and tomato plants are long gone in this part of the world, I used ground dried pepper and sun dried tomatoes instead. Grateful for all those late summer nights slicing and drying a rainbow of nightshades! One of the best salads I’ve had, without exaggeration. And since I’ve eaten through the last of the maharaja, but still have lots of pilau and kachumbali left, it looks like I’ll be seeking out another Tanzanian dish to round out the meal tomorrow!

UPDATE (1/24/17): I ate the leftovers with some decent curried red beans. Probably would have been better if I hadn’t put too much turmeric in my spice mix. But did I mention how amazing kachumbali is?


A couple tablespoons oil (I used coconut)
Chopped onion
2 cups brown rice (or, more traditionally, basmati rice)
3-4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons cumin, cardamom, and coriander
1 teaspoon salt
About 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup coconut milk
4 cups water

Saute onion until soft, then add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until both are mostly translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute or two longer. Mix in the coconut milk, 1 cup of the water, and the spices, then add the remaining water, bring to a simmer, then turn to low and let cook about an hour, until all the water is absorbed (or about 20-30 minutes for basmati.)

Kachumbari (Cabbage and Tomato Salad)

A few cups thinly sliced cabbage
Chopped onion (preferably red, but any works fine)
Sliced tomato (can use sun-dried out of season)
3-6 sprigs cilantro, leaves stripped from stem
1 hot pepper, thinly sliced (or a few sprinkles ground cayenne or other pepper)
A few generous drizzles olive oil
Juice from a lemon or lime
A light sprinkling of salt

Combine together the cabbage, tomatoes, onion, and cilantro. The onions or cabbage can be lightly fried first if you prefer. Since I was using tender Chinese cabbage, I sliced the leaves and stalks thin and used them raw – yum! Toss with oil, hot pepper, salt, and citrus juice.If using dried tomatoes, don’t rehydrate them first, as they will soak up and marinate in the dressing and become incredible beyond words. Let sit and marinate if you have a few minutes to spare. Just keeps getting better!

This entry was posted in Gluten Free, Low Carb, Salads and Pilafs, Vegan and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s