written by
Memo Stories

Homemade Chakalaka recipe, perfect for any occasion

Tasty Tuesday 3 min read

When celebrating our colourful South African history, nothing describes it better than a homemade chakalaka recipe. When one thinks of chakalaka the first thing that comes to mind is a braaing and we all know nothing compliments mielie pap and some well-braaied meat than chakalaka. We all have our own different ways of enjoying this gratifying and proudly South African relish, some like it mild others hot.

So before we get to the recipe here is a little history of where it came from. It apparently originated from back in the day when black mineworkers took everything they had and put them together in one mix, like onions, garlic, carrots, chillies, cabbage, green peppers, ginger, curry spices etc. From there on this relish became so popular that one can even now find it at your local supermarket in a can, but nothing once again beats any homemade recipe.

In fact, this relish is so unique that it has no exact recipe, it really varies from one family to another. For example in my family, we love hot food so we tend to add a little extra chilly in the mix to spice things up. Other times we add things like sweet corn or a bit of fruit chutney to give it that sweet chilly kinda vibe. Another interesting thing to do is make it completely vegan or vegetarian if that's your thing.😉 Simply mix some baked beans with chickpeas and you good to go.

This exquisite mix of veg and spices is sometimes served as a sauce on the side or as a relish over some mielie pap. Some people serve it cold as a salad with other greens. Like most recipes, chakalaka ingredients vary quite a bit, but you won't go wrong with our perfect chakalaka recipe. The ingredients almost always include grated carrots, chopped garlic, chunks of green pepper, sliced onion, cauliflower florets, chopped chillies, curry powder and a tin of baked beans if you want.

There's so much you can do with chakalaka once you've mastered your own version. A good side note is to leave it for a day or so for the flavours to fuse, then you can serve it with almost any meal of your choice but serving it with pap en vleis is always a crowd-pleaser.

Servings 10 | Prep time 15min | Total time 30min


  • 45ml oil
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 Red or Yellow Pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 red or green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 400g Canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 10ml mild curry powder
  • 4 medium carrots, grated
  • 1 medium cauliflower or broccoli, divided into florets
  • 1x 410 g can baked beans in tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  • Peel and chop onion until fine.
  • Peel, or scrub your carrots and grate them.
  • Decan your tomatoes in a jug and blend until nice and smooth.
  • Finely chop your garlic, peppers and chillies
  • Heat some oil in a pan, add the onions, garlic, green peppers, chillies and curry powder and fry for about five minutes until nice and soft.
  • Add carrots and cauliflower and tomato paste and mix well.
  • Cook for a few minutes stirring occasionally, then add your tomatoes and cook at low heat until all vegetables are cooked but slightly crunchy.
  • Add baked beans and seasoning, then allow to simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Have a taste of your masterpiece and add salt and pepper if more is needed.
  • Allow to cool, then serve and enjoy
Click the image to download or print the full.

Recipe by (part): Bernice from OmnBlend. A passionate food lover with a tech background in the food technology industry. Check out their page, they have lost of great products and recipes to share.

Recipes South Africa Heritage