Recipe: South Sudanese Tomato Salad

The South Sudanese love a good, chopped tomato salad on the side of their meals.

Often, it’s no more than tomato, onion, and hot, green chili peppers… perhaps a spot of parsley…

But other times, a bit of peanut butter and lime juice makes for a grand dressing… and tastes just like home, if you happen to be from South Sudan.

When I was deciding which of the two recipes to try, the choice was clear: if peanut butter is involved, the answer is yes.

Most definitely, yes.

You can make this vegan recipe as spicy as you’d like by adding more (or less) chili peppers. I thought two Thai birds made a nice, mild/medium heat (bordering on hot if someone bit directly into a piece of pepper). For little ones, you can always leave the chili peppers out.

In the end, the lime juice makes the salad tangy and bright, while the peanuts give it that African flair.

I call a recipe like this, all kinds of wonderful.

And so does Ava.

Inspired by this recipe as well as an email exchange with a man working at the American Embassy in South Sudan.


6 tomatoes, seeds removed & chopped
4-5 green onions, sliced
handful parsley, minced


1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened, creamy peanut butter
2 limes, juiced
small, hot chili pepper(s), minced (to taste)
salt, to taste


Add chopped tomatoes, green onion, and parsley to a bowl… and give them a good, strong toss.

Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, peanut butter, lime juice, chili peppers, and salt. The dressing will separate, so you may need to whisk it again right before serving. Give it a taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.

Pour the tangy, nutty dressing over the tomato mixture, toss, and serve.

… Or let individuals doctor up their own bowls with as much dressing as they’d like. That’s what we chose to

Welcome to a fresh, zesty, salad. This one would go really well with grilled meats and chicken.

Enjoy, while pondering the following South Sudanese proverb:


“You don’t name a child before it’s born.”

I’m curious… Do you agree with this proverb? Why or why not? This reminds me of the popular proverb “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

Still, much of Western culture seems to contradict this saying… We obsess over ultrasounds, or finding out the gender, or decorating the baby’s room months before it’s born.

I didn’t find out if I was having a boy or a girl when I was pregnant with Ava… but I know that’s not for everyone.

What are your thoughts? What is your approach? 

Opt In Image
Hungry for more?
Be notified when National Geographic releases my memoir.

Simply fill in your details below.


  1. dutchgirl says:

    I can imagine the proverb is true for Africa because the infant mortality rate is higher than in Western Europe.
    I didn’t (want to) know the gender of my children before birth. We just thought about a name for a boy and a girl to cover both options.
    In the more abstract sense I think it is a great proverb and it has a wise lesson in it. We shouldn’t plan everything way in advance and try to cover all options beforehand. Our lives could be more relaxed if we manage to use the day-to-day approach and take life as it is.

  2. Jane Marawar says:

    In India, there is nothing in the home no crib no baby clothes until the child is born and then after 12 days you name the baby.Though religious traditions for it they feel it lessens the grief if a tragedy happens.

    • aunty eileen says:

      In America, since a young child, there is a saying I heard and learned: “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”. There are many places throughout the internet to give possible origin(s) and meaning(s) / examples of this important quote.

  3. What a yummy-looking recipe! As for the saying, I look at it differently, I think. I was named well before I was born; DH was supposed to have a name entirely different to the one he has now. His mother had a name picked out, gave birth, took one look at him, and said, “No. He’s not Scott. He’s X.” And that’s been his name. So even if you know gender and plan ahead, you still can’t guarantee that the child will fit the name you pick.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      That’s so interesting… a child definitely has a certain energy which makes it easier to name them once we see them :)

  4. Thanks for finally talking about >Global Table Adventure | Recipe: South Sudanese Tomato Salad
    <Liked it!

  5. Thank you for these recipes! My family is moving to South Sudan this year to live and work, and it will be fun to try out these recipes on the kids as we get ready!

  6. Quality content is the crucial to attract the visitors to pay a quick visit the
    site, that’s what this website is providing.

  7. First of all I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question
    in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
    prior to writing. I have had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes tend to be lost just trying to figure out how to begin.

    Any ideas or hints? Cheers!

Speak Your Mind