Chakalaka is a spicy South African relish that is often served as a condiment or side dish.
Here’s a traditional recipe for chakalaka:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1-2 hot chili peppers, finely chopped (adjust according to your spice preference)
1 can (400g) baked beans in tomato sauce
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, for garnish (optional)
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
Stir in the diced green and red bell peppers, grated carrots, and chopped chili peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
Add the baked beans in tomato sauce and the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Sprinkle in the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir again to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.
Reduce the heat to low and let the chakalaka simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
Taste the chakalaka and adjust the seasoning if needed. If you prefer it spicier, you can add more chili peppers at this point.
Once the chakalaka has thickened to your desired consistency, remove it from the heat.
Serve the chakalaka warm as a side dish or condiment. It pairs well with grilled meats, stews, or as a topping for bread or pap (a traditional South African porridge).
If desired, garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.
Enjoy your homemade chakalaka!