Chakalaka – a refreshing spicy tomato bean relish that will provoke your taste bud.
Simple yet pleasing in every way, this South African –born spicy vegetable side can be as spicy or as mild as you like it. It all depends on you and which direction you want to go.
Chakalaka is a dish that originates from South Africa and it is staple throughout the country. Mostly during celebrations, gathering and a must have during braais (South African barbecues). Legend has it that- it was was developed by men working in the goldmines- they put together vegetables on hand together with canned beans to form a great relish to pair with their starchy side.
Although this is great with barbecues, I like to pair it with any protein – it has become one of my favorites when trying to fill up with vegetables. What is really appealing about this dish is that it is very adaptable because you can add more vegetables and/or spices to make it suitable to your taste bud or palate.
These are the basic ingredients: Onions, green pepper, cabbage, chilies, carrots and curry powder. Use spices that you have on hand. Most recipes call for beans- you can use baked beans or boiled beans. Here, I included baked beans because it not only makes it filling but also adds some sweetness, which acts as a foil to the chili peppers. As with most, relish the flavor improves the next day.
- 1/4 cup cooking oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1-2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon ginger minced
- 1-2 tomatoes
- 3-4 cups sliced cabbage
- 1 -2 Chili peppers diced seeds removed for less heat
- 1 large carrot grated on the large side or sliced thinly
- 1 medium green pepper diced
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 1 14 ounce baked beans
- 1 teaspoons bouillon powder optional
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onion, give it a minute or two,
- Stir in all the spices; garlic, ginger, smoked paprika, curry, cayenne pepper, thyme- continue stirring for about a minute to let the flavors bloom. Then add tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots and cabbage
- Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burns.
- Finally add baked beans, bouillon powder stir Continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes.
- Adjust for seasonings. Serve warm