The Challenge

South African & Vegan: Chakalaka

South African & Vegan

I´m pretty happy that I managed to cook a South African dish during my cooking challenge year! It´s possible because I met a vegan German girl on a South African website. Yes German – but in the moment Klara is living in Cape Town.


Two years ago she made an internship in South Africa to improve her job skills. And how life goes sometimes – Klara fell in love with the country and never came back. Good for us – because in the last two years she had enough time to learn some delicious South African dishes – like Chakalaka.


Chakalaka (I just love that name) is a African relish that’s served ubiquitously with just about any meal. Originally it´s a recipe of the townships; miners and laborers just throw everything they had in a pot and let it cook. That way they could make a quick, cheap and easy dish. The original chakalaka was probably a simple dish of onions, tomatoes and curry powder. These days, every South African has his or her own favorite recipe, and many are quite elaborate. Chakalaka is served as a sauce, a relish or as a cold salad.


  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 500 g carrots, chopped
  • 400g  white cabbage, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 chili, chopped
  • 1 can baked beans in chili sauce or tomato sauce
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat oil in a big pot and sauté onions, garlic and bell peppers with the chillies and curry powder for about five minutes.


Add carrots, cabbage, tomato paste and spices. Cook for about 15-20 minutes ( until vegetables are soft). Don´t forget to stir every five minutes or so.


Add baked beans. Cook for another 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper.


Bon eetlus!


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