Ethiopian Tomato Salad

There’s a new salsa in town!

Yes, I am talking of this humble Ethiopian tomato salad which has become our homestead’s current salsa fixation.

Similar ingredients…yet not similar flavours, the signature flavour that marks this tomato salad different from a traditional salsa is ginger.

Vegetarian meals are quite common in Ethiopia; simple and humble meals yet packed with flavour making the best use of ingredients available locally. Some of the common dishes that make up a traditional Ethiopian vegetarian platter is the yemisir wot – an oily red lentil stew generously spiced, yekik alicha – a yellow split pea stew flavoured with turmeric, tikil gomen – carrots, potatoes and cabbage simmered in a turmeric sauce.

Simple salads are also an integral part of the platter, this Ethiopian tomato salad being an example. And of course, no meal is complete without the breaking of the injera.

Much like the Indian style of eating, Ethiopians believe in a communal meal – friends and family coming together around the food. And fancy cutlery has no place here, pieces of injera are broken and the fingers are deftly used to scoop up the lentils, stews and salads. Eating with your hands might seem like the most natural thing for those who are used to it but for our Western counterparts, this can often be the most challenging part of a meal.

I found some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the market and used these for this salad. I used both the green and red varieties but you could use just regular tomatoes. Also, I love chunky pieces of tomatoes in my salsa/salad instead of the saucy types so I went for a rough chop.


Like I mentioned, the signature or defining flavour of this Ethiopian tomato salad comes from ginger. Grated ginger is added to olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make a flavourful dressing for the tomatoes. And for that touch of heat, chopped yellow onions and fresh jalapenos!



This Ethiopian tomato salad recipe comes from here.


1. 3 large heirloom tomatoes; roughly chopped
2. 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (use white or red if you cannot find yellow)
3. 2 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped (deseed if you wish to)

For the dressing:

4. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5. 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
6. 1.5 tsp grated fresh ginger
7. Salt, to season
8. Black pepper, to season


1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and keep aside.
2. Mix the chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos in a large bowl.
3. Add the dressing and mix well just before serving.



Enjoy it as a traditional salad or as a chunky salsa….I did both!



Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

15 thoughts on “Ethiopian Tomato Salad

  1. […] Suddenly my world opened up to a whole new spectrum of flavours and dishes. From this traditional tomato salad to a grilled fish recipe inspired by my new found love for berbere, I wanted to learn more about […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ataklti Medhin September 11, 2016 at 1:01 pm Reply

    My mother made it and I grew up eating this especially during lent, in Ethiopia. And I make it at least once a week now, however, I have never added ginger to it. I am going to add ginger and see the difference. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya September 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm Reply

      Thanks for sharing that Ataklti; I dont know much about Ethiopian food except what I read online and that’s how this recipe came about too. The ginger did add loads of flavour; hope you enjoy adding it. And hope you can direct me to some authentic recipes too.


  3. Quick and easy school lunches January 30, 2015 at 5:36 am Reply

    […] Ethiopian Tomato Salad […]


  4. sixlittlehearts January 19, 2015 at 6:27 am Reply

    Sounds amazing and I love your pics!
    Thanks so much for linking up at Six Little Hearts.


  5. sixlittlehearts January 19, 2015 at 6:26 am Reply

    This looks and sounds amazing! Such great photos and a recipe that’s very different.
    Thanks so much for sharing at my blog linkup on Six Little Hearts.


  6. mammarajsays January 17, 2015 at 4:04 am Reply

    My sister-in-law is vegetarian so this will be a great recipe to use when she comes over! Thank you!!


    • vanyadhanya January 17, 2015 at 12:36 pm Reply

      That’s lovely to hear; hope she enjoys it.


  7. afracooking January 14, 2015 at 9:41 pm Reply

    Ah, what a great recipe to see! Did you know: my mother is actually Ethiopian. It is not food I cook often, because it is so labour intesive. But I do have a few recipes on my blog. This recipe however is such a treat as it is so simple and packed with flavour. Fabulous!


    • vanyadhanya January 15, 2015 at 6:48 am Reply

      I know very little about this cuisine but I would love it if you could share some traditional ones; I love finding old gems and re-discovering it to suit our eating habits today.


  8. amritaspeaks January 13, 2015 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Will definitely try this. You are getting better and better with the photographs. Excellent!!


    • vanyadhanya January 14, 2015 at 12:46 am Reply

      that’s encouraging to hear, thanks Amrita


  9. Aruna Panangipally January 13, 2015 at 6:35 am Reply



Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: