When I think of chakalaka the things that come to mind are braais, salads, and good company. I don’t remember a time we didn’t have chakalaka at a family braai. If not then either green salad, creamed spinach, or beetroot salad was a definite. Chakalaka is a South African spicy vegetable relish, and when there’s chakalaka there definitely has to be mealie pap.
Although its exact origins are unknown, some believe it originated from mine workers in Johannesburg who added tomatoes, beans and chili to create a vegetable dish. This dish has become a South African staple, and it has become so popular you can buy it in cans in the supermarket, but nothing beats fresh homemade chakalaka!
There’s no exact recipe for chakalaka, and it varies from one family to another. My family loves hot food, so we would usual use more than one chili for an extra kick, and on some days to give it a sweet and chili taste my mother would add some fruit chutney. The recipe can also vary from one to another according to preference: some add cabbage, and sometimes it is made without tomatoes, but most recipes contain tomatoes, Koo baked beans, and peppers.
You can also make this recipe vegan or vegetarian by using baked beans that do not contain any animal products or by substituting the baked beans with chickpeas. Chakalaka is said to be a relish, sauce or salad. Whichever way you prefer to call it, it can make a great addition to Christmas lunches, Sunday roasts, and is best enjoyed with garlic rolls or pap, alongside braai meat. A definite crowd pleaser!
Prepare your vegetables:
Peel and chop onion into quarters add to your Omniblend jug with ½ C water and pulse for a fine chop.
Peel, or scrub carrots and grate (You can pulse your carrots with a cup of water for a fine chop).
Decant the can of whole tomatoes in the jug, and blend till smooth. Or use 3 fresh tomatoes (boil tomatoes for a minute, until the skin starts to peel, plunge in cold water and then peel the skin. Then add to you Omniblend jug and blend till smooth).
Finely chop the garlic, peppers and chilies.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions, garlic, peppers and chili cook until soft.
Then add the spices (more or less depending on how spicy you would like it to be) stir to combine.
Stir in the carrots and tomato paste, the mixture should be well combined. Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. Then add the tomatoes, and cook on a low heat until the vegetables are cooked but just slightly crunchy. Finish off with the baked beans and simmer for a few minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Can be served hot or cold. This chakalaka is also great with your sous vide steak!
Using the OmniBlend I with a 2ltr jug made it super easy to prepare the vegetables as, just a few pulses and you’re ready to go. The 2ltr jug is suited for both wet and dry ingredients, and for smaller dishes (because of the narrow base) like spreads, hummus, nut butter and pesto.
This recipe was developed by Bernice, who’s handling OmniBlend’s customer service and sales, and in contact with foodies around the country on a daily basis. Bernice has a background in food technology, and is passionate about all that looks, smells, and tastes like food. She loves sharing how you can get the most out of your OmniBlend.