Saladi Ya Matunda (African Tropical Fruit Salad)

Total Time
Prep 45 mins
Cook 10 mins

A delicious fruit salad which we enjoyed for supper as well as breakfast. I made some minor changes (based on what was available in the local grocery and my fridge) to the original recipe printed in The Book Club Cookbook discussing Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. In the intro it states that a traditional African Fruit Salad, a variety of tropical fruits are chosen, making this very adaptable to whatever is available in the grocer or in the fridge.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To make simple syrup: bring water and sugar (1 cup each) to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes until syrupy, stirring. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In a large glass bowl (or salad bowl), combine fruit, tossing gently.
  3. Stir in lime or lemon juice and enough of the simple syrup to desired sweetness.
  4. Cover salad and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring once.
  5. Refrigerate until serving time.
  6. Serve in individual bowls, garnished with coconut and peanuts.
Most Helpful

I made this recipe with canned pineapple, canned mangoes, fresh bananas & fresh oranges. Instead of making the syrup with water & sugar I used the juice from the mangoes & pineapple boiled with 1/2 cup of sugar. I also substituted almonds for the roasted peanuts. Overall, everyone thought this was a good fruit salad. Thanks Ellie

Nasseh July 19, 2008

This really needs 3 1/2 stars and rates: "We liked it very much indeed!" I hate to say I could not find ripe mangoes, so used papaya, which is not as aromatic, I know. I roasted dessicated coconut (whole coconuts not available easily now) and peanuts in a small pan to use as garnish. I was 'ay leetle beet' put off by the sugar syrup, as normally in Africa we would not use that. If a tin of canned peaches are added (chopped), some of the syrup in the tin is added, or some people add orange juice. The sugar syrup struck me as an invention that did not have its origin in Africa, but I could be wrong. But the mixture of fruits is very correct. For example, I learned from a young age that only soft fruits go into fruit salad (so, never apple pieces). Oranges are okay, but dicey -- if any white pith lands in the fruit salad, it can cause a bitter taste. My gran believed fruit salad should always be made the day before, so no oranges, in case pith lands in the salad! A very nice recipe indeed!! I liked the garnish: new to me.

Zurie February 28, 2007