Chakalaka (Soweto chilli)

This low fat, vibrant chilli from Johannesburg is based on canned beans, tomatoes, onions and chillies. You can add whatever vegetables you have to hand

  • Prep:40 mins
    Cook:30 mins
  • Serves 8
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 229
  • fat 7g
  • saturates 1g
  • carbs 28g
  • sugars 18g
  • fibre 12g
  • protein 7g
  • salt 1.2g


  • 3 tbsp light olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • 1 red or white onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp milk, medium or hot curry powder
  • 3 peppers (mix of red, green and yellow), finely chopped
  • 5-6 large carrots, grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 5-6 large tomatoes or 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp piri-piri spice blend
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves only, or 2 tsp dried thyme
  • spiced apple chutney, BBQ sauce, jerk sauce or piri-piri sauce to taste (optional)
  • 400g can baked beans
  • chopped coriander
  • rice or mealie bread (South African cornbread)
  • mixed green salad
  • grilled meats


  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish set over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and starting to caramelise.

  2. Stir in the garlic, chillies and half the ginger. Cook for 1-2 mins, then add the curry powder and stir to make a curry paste. If the mixture is starting to catch, add a splash of water to stop it burning.

  3. Stir in the peppers and cook for 2 mins more. Add the carrots and stir to make sure they are coated in the curry paste. Stir in the purée, tomatoes, piri-piri spice, thyme and apple chutney or sauce, if using.

  4. Add the baked beans, then half-fill the can with water and add that too. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 10 mins until the vegetables are tender and the mixture has thickened.

  5. Add the remaining ginger and season to taste. Sprinkle with coriander and serve hot or cold with rice or mealie bread, salad and grilled meats.

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