What's for Dinner, Barbara-jo?! Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

Garth McAlister's Chakalaka

This goes well with a protein, especially chicken, and with another South African dish we call "Pap" (Afrikaans for porridge made from cornmeal). Be careful with the spices. I like hot, spicy dishes and this one should be approached with caution. ~Garth


* 1/4 cup cooking oil

* 1 medium onion, diced

* 2 teaspoons garlic, minced

* 1-2 teaspoons curry powder

* 1/2 teaspoon thyme

* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

* 2 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or to taste)

* 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

* 1 - 2 tomatoes

* 3 - 4 cups of sliced cabbage

* 1 large carrot, coarsely grated or sliced thinly

* 1 medium green pepper, diced

* 1 medium red pepper, diced

* 1 - 14 ounce can of baked beans

* 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder (optional)


In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and saute for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder, thyme, smoked paprika, cayenne powder, and fresh ginger. Continue stirring for about a minute to let the flavours deepen.

Add the tomatoes, cabbage, carrot, and bell peppers and stir to combine. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the baked beans and bouillon powder (if using). Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.

This recipe is much better one or two days later. The flavours merge very well overnight in the fridge.

*This recipe is originally from africanbites.com. It is one that Garth enjoys and has modified to his palate.


Garth McAlister was born and raised in South Africa. He now lives in Vancouver, where he works as a lawyer.