Boom! Chakalaka! – Nutritarian Flavour Explosion

I knew that from the moment I heard the name of the dish I was destined to make it and blog about it. Then came the hard part…which variation to use since there seems to be lots of twists and versions in this recipe.

I settled for one that had the maximum veggies and of course I added my own tweaks.

Chakalaka is a South African side dish or condiment that is served at bbqs with meats and something they call pap or even with bread. Once I started looking at the ingredients I knew I’d like it. The basic ingredients that everyone seems to agree on are onions, tomatoes and peppers seasoned with curry powder and something spicy. After that it’s pretty interesting. Some add canned baked beans and others don’t.

I started off with this recipe as my base.

Isa’s Nutritarian Chakalaka


2 large onion, roughly cut
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger powder
2 medium green bell pepper, roughly cut
1/4 large cabbage head, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, grated
7 ripe medium plum tomatoes,chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder (I added 2 more tsp after but make it to your taste)
1-2 teaspoons schriracha, (hot sauce)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce (no meat, low fat)

Water sautee the onion until it is soft and caramelized. Keep adding water as needed to prevent sticking and to loosen up the caramalization in the pan. This takes a while so you might want to start with this step while you finish prepping the rest of your veggies.

Add the garlic and sautee a bit more. Add the spices, stir it around then add the rest of the veggies. Simmer until everything is soft then add the beans. Simmer a bit more until beans are heated through. Taste your chakalaka and add more curry or heat so it’s to your liking.

I had mine over sweet potatoes, asparagus and kale. I can see it as a flavour boost over steamed veggies. Enjoy!



2 responses to “Boom! Chakalaka! – Nutritarian Flavour Explosion

  1. Hi, Isa. Thought I might give you a bit of info: “pap” is the Afrikaans word for porridge. In South Africa mealiemeal porridge (would that be corn porridge in American English?) is the staple food amongst most black cultures and a much loved dish by most South Africans. It can be eaten with sugar and milk or as a savoury accompaniment to many dishes (this includes topping the pap with a tomato sauce or chakalaka (pronounced cha-kha-lah-kah – long vowels). Hope it sheds some light. Kind regards, Suzanne

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