- Advertisement -
Chakalaka is a simple, spicy cuisine made with onions, tomatoes, and sometimes beans that originated in South African townships. It has been a staple of black South Africans for decades and is a must-have condiment during South African braais or barbecues.

What is Chakalaka?

This is a relish made with tomatoes, onions, and spices, according to the dictionary definition.

It is a spicy South African relish that goes well with almost anything but is particularly good with barbecue or braai as it is known in South Africa. It is light, mildly spicy, and incredibly easy to make.

It is thought to have originated in the Johannesburg townships or the gold mines near Johannesburg, where Mozambican mineworkers cook tinned vegetables (tomatoes, beans) with chilies to make a spicy relish with a Portuguese flair to go with pap.

Varieties of Chakalaka

This dish comes in a variety of flavors, depending on the location and family tradition. Beans, cabbage, and butternut squash are also used in some variations. The recipe can be made with canned baked beans, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, and curry paste, for example.

It’s one of the most popular salads in South Africa, and it’s commonly eaten at a braai or with Sunday lunch. It’s delicious cold or at room temperature.

Chakalaka Recipe With Cucumber Salad

This is a delectable blend of cucumber and some spices. It is sometimes served as a sauce on the side or as a relish over mielie pap. It’s sometimes served cold as a salad.

Once you’ve perfected your own version, there’s so more you can do with it. A helpful side note is to allow it for a day or so for the flavors to meld before eating it with nearly any meal of your choosing, but pap en vleis is always a winner.

Chakalaka Recipe

The components of this dish vary quite a bit, as do most recipes, but you won’t go wrong with our perfect chakalaka recipe. Fresh veggies (from your own garden, maybe) such as shredded carrots, chopped garlic, pieces of green pepper, sliced onion, cauliflower florets, chopped chilies, curry powder, and a tin of baked beans could also be included in the ingredients.

How To Prepare Chakalaka

Simple yet delicious in every aspect, this spicy vegetable side dish from South Africa can be as spicy or as mild as you wish. It’s entirely up to you to decide whatever path you wish to take.

What makes preparing this dish so appealing is that it is quite flexible, since you can add additional vegetables and/or spices to suit your taste buds or palate.

Here, below are step by step directions on how to prepare chakalaka.

Some suggestions for Amazon links to “Blue Diamond Almonds Habanero BBQ Flavored Snack Nuts”.

Blue Diamond Almonds Habanero BBQ Flavored Snack NutsProject Overview Docs Banner in Light Green Blue Vibrant Professional Style 1


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 3 medium onions diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 2 medium green bell powder diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • curry powder to taste
  • salt to taste
  • diced pepper to taste
  • 3 medium tomatoes,
  • green chili (optional)
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon oil, for frying
  • 14 cup water


  • Fry the onion and pepper together with oil in a large skillet until the onion is clear.
  • Add the grated carrots, tomatoes, water, and all the seasonings to your liking and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Share this post:

Must Try Recipes

You'll also love