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Chakalaka is a spicy and flavorful relish or side dish that is widely enjoyed in South African cuisine. It is known for its vibrant combination of vegetables, spices, and sometimes beans. Chakalaka is a versatile dish that can vary in ingredients and preparation methods, but the core components typically include onions, tomatoes, peppers, and spices.

Chakalaka is a popular South African vegetable relish that is known for its vibrant flavors and spicy kick. Here’s a recipe for chakalaka with carrots:

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How to cook chakalaka with carrots

Chakalaka is often made by sautéing onions and garlic in oil, then adding a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, and beans. The vegetables are typically diced or grated, depending on personal preference. Spices such as curry powder, cumin, paprika, and chili peppers are added to enhance the flavors and provide a spicy kick.
The mixture is then cooked together until the vegetables are tender, and the flavors have melded. Chakalaka can be served warm or at room temperature, and it is commonly enjoyed as a side dish with grilled or barbecued meats, pap (a traditional South African porridge made from maize meal), bread, or as a condiment for sandwiches or burgers.
Chakalaka is known for its versatility, and variations of the dish can be found throughout South Africa and even across different households. Some recipes include additional ingredients like grated ginger, garlic, or even pineapple for added sweetness. The level of spiciness can also be adjusted to personal preference by adding more or fewer chili peppers.
Overall, chakalaka is a vibrant and flavorful dish that represents the diverse and dynamic nature of South African cuisine.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine South African


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1-2 chili peppers, finely chopped (adjust according to spice preference)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated

  • 1 green bell pepper, diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes

  • 1 can (400g) baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat.
    2. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until it becomes translucent.
    3. Stir in the minced garlic and chopped chili peppers. Sauté for an additional minute.
    4. Add the grated carrots, diced green and red bell peppers to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
    5. Pour in the can of chopped tomatoes and baked beans in tomato sauce. Stir well to combine.
    6. Add the curry powder, ground cumin, and paprika to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir everything together.
    7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the chakalaka simmer for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. Stir occasionally.
    8. After the cooking time, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
    9. Remove from heat and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.
    10. Serve the chakalaka warm as a side dish with grilled meat, rice, bread, or pap (a traditional South African cornmeal porridge).



Chakalaka is a versatile dish, and you can customize it based on your preferences. Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables such as cabbage, green beans, or corn. Adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer chili peppers. Chakalaka is often enjoyed with a bit of heat, but you can adjust the spice level to suit your taste.


Serving: 100g
Keyword Chakalaka with carrots
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