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Tomato, cucumber, and peanut butter salad

Cucumbers and tomatoes are the basis for most salads around the world. They are called by different names and have a few added ingredients but are essentially variations on a simple theme with local ingredients and tastes. This is one of those super simple salads that originated in the Middle East from variations like Shirazi in Iran and the Turkish salatasi.

The variation here is lovely and fresh. The use of peanut butter, which is common in Sudan, adds a creamy texture that contrasts well with the crunchy cucumbers. The chilli adds a mild pop of spice and completes the salad. This is a lovely salad for the summer when you do not want to stand over a stove and are craving light greens.

This is a relatively new cookbook in my library. It is filled with contemporary Arab recipes, each one a delight, like this one. Each recipe has an introduction that pr,ecedes it explaining the origins of the dish and its history, something I enjoyabout, reading and cuisine I have so much to learn about. It is a wonderful cookbook, one you will see me cook from again.

For more recipes from this cookbook, click here.


2 cups cherry tomatoes, of varied colours if available, halved longitudinally

2 small cucumbers, peeled and diced into small cubes

2-3 scallions, finely minced

1 - 11/2 green chillies, finely minced

2 tablespoons cilantro. minced

Salt, to taste

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

Juice of 1 lime + to taste

1 tablespoon water, if needed

Mix the dressing ingredients. If the peanut butter is very thick, add water to thin it down a bit. Set aside.

Mix all the vegetables except for the salt.

Right before serving, add the salt and peanut butter dressing. Mix well and serve immediately.

Note: Do not mix the dressing into the salad, as it will become a soggy mess and look unappetizing.

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