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how to make chakalaka (with video)

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Vegetarian Meals | 0 comments

Chakalaka, a heavenly South African delight, hails as a spicy and aromatic dish that perfectly complements braaied meat and pap. This traditional chakalaka recipe  is remarkably easy to make and uses Koo baked beans, ensuring a delicious flavor profile. The combination of spices, like curry powder and chili, brings a tantalizing heat that enhances the overall experience. Enjoy the harmony of flavors in this chakalaka salad for braai, meat, and pap come together in a mouthwatering union.

what is this chakalaka recipe made of?

This chakalaka recipe is a delicious blend of flavors, crafted from a hearty combination of baked beans, tomatoes, onions, colorful bell peppers, carrots, and a variety of spices like paprika, curry powder, and chili. This vibrant medley of ingredients creates a spicy, veggie-packed dish that perfectly complements the smoky flavors of braaied meat.

what does chakalaka taste like?

It tastes like a spicy tomato relish with baked beans inside. This is due to the making process, a spicy tomato relish is first made, and then baked beans are added to it. Another reason why you should try it out, it is easy to make!

what to serve chakalaka with

    • Pap and braaied meat

This cherished tradition is deeply ingrained in countless South African households mainly known as a ‘lekker braai’. Braaied meat served with pap and chakalaka for braai is a meal that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 

  • Magwinya/vetkoek

In addition to being a staple in South African homes, enjoying chakalaka alongside magwinya , also known as puff puff in West Africa, is my second favorite treat. The combination becomes even more enticing during winter when the longing for a comforting, hearty meal reaches its peak.

  • Steamed bread

For those seeking a vibrant and diverse Sunday feast, steamed bread (idombolo) and chakalaka are a must-have. This delectable combination adds a burst of color to your plate, particularly when accompanied by beetroot, a refreshing green salad, and sweet corn. Indulging in this seven-color meal will surely make your Sunday Kos a happy meal.

the step by step guide to making chakalaka recipe with koo baked beans

    • Step one:

To prepare this flavorful dish, start by heating oil in a spacious pan over medium heat. Once the oil reaches the desired temperature, sauté onions and bay leaves until the onions turn golden brown. Next, add the remaining vegetables and continue cooking until they are cooked to a tender yet slightly firm consistency.

  • Step two:

After sautéing the vegetables, incorporate curry powder and chopped tomatoes into the pan, stirring thoroughly. Introduce crushed chilli, mixed herbs, paprika, and garlic powder, ensuring they are well mixed. Let the pot simmer, allowing the flavors to meld together, creating a deliciously aromatic and richly spiced chakalaka.

  • Step three:

Once the relish is cooked to perfection, lower the heat and incorporate Koo baked beans, stirring until well combined. Simmer the mixture for approximately 5 minutes to enhance the flavors. Season with salt according to your taste preferences, and savor this delightful relish alongside pap and braaied meat for a truly satisfying meal.

the spices needed:

how to make chakalaka with koo baked beans
Pro tips for making this simple chakalaka recipe
    • Don’t be afraid to get creative with spices! The ones mentioned are simply a starting point for chakalaka, but feel free to let your culinary personality shine by exploring different spices. Increase the amount of chili flakes for a fiery relish, or add your preferred seasoning for a unique twist. The joy of cooking lies in making it your own, so embrace the opportunity to create a chakalaka masterpiece that reflects your individual taste and preferences.
  • When it comes to frying onions, allow them to brown a little longer for that extra touch of flavor that elevates your dish to new heights. There’s a magical transformation that occurs when onions are cooked until they reach that beautiful golden-brown color. However, be mindful not to burn them; the goal is to achieve a delightful caramelization that enhances the overall taste and aroma of your culinary creation.


  • To elevate the taste of your tomato relish, introduce ½ tsp of sugar and a splash of white vinegar. This infusion imparts a delightful tanginess, perfectly complementing the flavors of your braaied meat. The resulting relish boasts a deliciously balanced profile that will take your culinary experience to new heights.


  • The subtle sweetness from the sugar enhances the natural flavors of the tomatoes, while the touch of white vinegar adds a pleasant tanginess that cuts through the richness of the braaied meat. This harmonious combination creates a relish that not only adds depth to your dish but also provides a refreshing contrast. The interplay of sweet and tangy notes adds complexity and elevates the overall taste experience. With this tantalizing relish accompanying your braaied meat, every bite becomes a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

chakalaka recipe

This is a delicious and spicy chakalaka recipe that originates from the beautiful South Africa. This recipe pairs perfectly well with pap on a good braai day.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African
Servings 5 servings


  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 white onion chopped
  • 2 chopped tomatoes chopped
  • ½ green pepper
  • ½ yellow pepper
  • ½ red pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 can koobaked beans in tomato sauce


  • 3 tsp medium heat curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp dried mixed herb
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic and ginger


  • Place a large pan on medium heat along with the sunflower oil. Once the oil has heated up, place your onions and bay in the pan and fry for about 5 minutes whilst continuously stirring.
  • Once your onions start to brown, add the green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers along with curry powder. Continuously stir your vegetables until they have been slightly softened.
  • Add your tomatoes to the fried peppers and onions along with the crushed garlic & ginger, chilli flakes, mixed herb, paprika and onion powder. Stir well and allow your tomatoes to cook with the cover on your pan for about 5 minutes.
  • Once your tomato relish is done cooking( this can be seen in the softened vegetables and cooked tomatoes), add your koo beans to the relish and stir well for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper for taste and enjoy.
Keyword chakalaka recipe


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