Chakalaka Recipe (Tasty South African Dish)

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Chakalaka is a vegetarian/vegan South African dish that can be classified into various categories: colorful, spicy, and quick to cook. It can be an appetizer, a salsa or a condiment, or a main course, dependent on the dish it is served with.

The most common way to Chakalaka is by cooking finely chopped root vegetables like garlic, onions, and carrots in spices such as curry powder and leaf masala, bell peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, baking beans, and other spices.

Other ingredients could include chilis, ginger, shredded cabbage, cauliflower, or whatever else you have. The flavor of this dish is as delicious warm as cold. Like other relishes, it gets its unique flavor with the course.

Chakalaka Tips & Tricks

  • Onions should be sliced into pieces or cut into cubes. The onions for Chakalaka must be cooked first in hot vegetable oil until they turn translucent or slightly caramelized.
  • Choose Fresh and canned tomatoes — either whole or pureed can be used to make the Chakalaka. The puree of tomatoes makes the Chakalaka soupier; if required, its acidity could be tempered with a touch of sugar. On the other hand, fresh tomatoes can be cooked for a short time before being added to the other vegetables to get the full flavor.
  • Baked beans canned in cans are the most popular choice for Chakalaka because they don’t require cooking — they are just warming alongside the other ingredients.
  • Leaf masala powder and curry leaf masala powder give Chakalaka its distinct spice. They mix spices, and herbs typically made up of turmeric, coriander, chili powder cloves, cumin, cinnamon cardamom, curry leaves, pimento, star aniseed, and bay leaves, to mention just a few. They are usually included at the start of the preparation. They are cooked in hot oil and onions to enhance.
  • Chakalaka can be enjoyed cold or hot. It can be stored in a refrigerator with foil or jars for up to five days.

Other Vegan Recipes to Try:

If you liked this Chakalaka Recipe, then you might like these recipes also:

Vegan Chakalaka Recipe

Chakalaka Recipe

This recipe demonstrates how to prepare a simple, classic, and delicious chakalaka.

  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Total: 40 min

Video Recipe

YouTube video


  • 5 TBSP of oil for cooking
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 TBSP curry powder
  • 2  garlic cloves minced
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 Chili peppers cut into pieces, seeds removed to reduce heat
  • 4 large carrots, grated on the large side or sliced thinly
  • 1 TBSP Hot Sauce
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 medium green pepper diced
  • 1 red bell pepper medium chopped
  • 2 cans of baked beans
  • 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder
  • 1 tsp of Salt
  • 3 TBSP of Sugar or (Maple Syrup)



  1. In a pan on medium heat, add oil.
  2. Then, add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.
  3. Add ginger and garlic along with curry powder. Stir until combined.
  4. Add the peppers—Cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Add carrots. Mix well, and be sure that they’re coated with curry powder.
  6. Add tomato paste and tomatoes. Mix to combine.
  7. Cook for 5-10 minutes. The mixture should be well incorporated and slightly thickened.
  8. Add Baked beans, fresh thyme, sugar, salt, and hot sauce. Simmer for 5 mins.
  9. Take the heat off. Serve hot or cold.
  10. Add Chives and Mint for decoration and extra taste.


Let me know in the comment section how this chakalaka recipe turned out for you and/or if you have any other questions. Godspeed!

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