Chakalaka & Pap
Chakalaka is a township dish that we always make as a family whenever there is a ceremony, a braai or when I’m feeling like something that tastes like home. As a south african, chakalaka and pap is a combo that reflects the colonial influences in my country – the Indian spices, the English baked beans. It’s the kind of comfort food dish I always make for myself whenever I miss my gogo (grandmother) or when I’m feeling extra local and want to eat with my hands. It can be prepared mild but is usually quite spicy. The day I learnt how to make this I felt quite proud of myself because it is a taste on the tongue that could only be found when surrounded by family and now that I know how to make it, I can bring my family, my land, close to me wherever I am.
Ingredients for Chakalaka
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly grated
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) Raja curry powder
- ¼ cabbage, sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper / paprika
- 1 x 410g Koo baked beans
Ingredients for Pap:
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- 480g maize meal
- salt, to taste
- Knob of butter
How to make chakalaka:
In a saucepan over medium heat, fry the onion, carrots, tomatoes and curry powder together, for 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage and season to taste, adding some cayenne pepper if you like it strong.
Stir in the beans, cover the saucepan and cook over low heat, for 30 minutes.
Taste at the end and adjust with a bit of sugar if it is too acidic.
How to make Pap:
Boil the water in a pot, then add the maize meal and some salt.
Stir until combined, cover and cook over low heat, for 45 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Stir in the knob of butter when the pap is ready.