This image is of chakalaka a bean relish popular in South AFRICA

If you have ever been to South Africa and toured or lived in the townships you probably have heard of chakalaka. A firm favorite that you can find on a Sunday braai and again in the morning with breakfast magwinya and later on a sandwich for lunch or maybe a kota, yes it’s that popular.

I can’t even remember how this came to be a favourite in our home but we can’t stop and honestly, we don’t want to. It’s not just tasty but easy and very simple to make and my partner who is crazy about beans never says no to this, he once finished up all four servings of this recipe.

What is chakalaka


Chakalaka is a bean and vegetable relish that is believed to have originated in the townships of Joburg when miners tired from work wanted a quick and spicy relish to enjoy with pap.

What goes into the chakalaka recipe

This image is to show the ingredients used to make chakalaka.

Baked beans

Curry powder

Red and green peppers





The cooking method has stayed pretty much the same but more can be added.

Vegetables; veggies are added like sliced cabbage, green beans, butter beans, chilli powder or sauce, and even butternut. Actually, any veggies you have in the fridge will do, a perfect way to clear out the fridge and get a great dish.

Sauces; you can add some chutney, sweet chilli sauce, or some peri-peri sauce for some flavour

Seasoning; traditionally chakalaka has always been curry based but you can always play around with different spice.

How to make

Heat the pan, add the oil and onions

Add the peppers and fry until they are soft and aromatic.

Add the grated carrots, a little bit of salt(you can skip this), and the curry powder and stir to mix. Fry for about 2-3 minutes cause the carrots won’t take long to cook.

Pour in the can of beans and mix well until it’s all combined and the beans have coated the curry

Let simmer until the beans have heated

How to serve

Chakalaka goes well as a side to most meat dishes as noted above and is also good on pap and bread. It’s perfect to enjoy with leftovers for a quick weekday dinner.

this image is to show how to serve chakalaka. It is served with pap and wors.

You can try it on vetkoeks/magwinya, I got a recipe here.

Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Hot chakalaka

A veg relish that comes together quickly
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time14 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Quick, Relish
Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 can baked beans (410 grams)
  • 1 medium onion (diced)
  • 3 large carrots (roughly grated)
  • ½ of medium red pepper (diced)
  • ½ of medium green pepper (diced)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or sauce
  • salt to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onions and peppers for about 4 mins on high heat.
  • Add the grated carrots, salt, chilli, and curry powder stir and fry for about 3 mins and if you are adding cabbage then now is the time to stir fry it for a minute
  • Lastly, add the beans and cook just until the beans are heated through while stirring to mix everything
  • Serve immediately with pap and meat


All the veggies thats onions,grated carrots and peppers, both green and red should be about a cup each 

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