Healthy South African Chakalaka served with stiff pap

Prep 15 mins

Cooking 45 mins

Serves 6

Homemade chakalaka is a staple at any South African Braai, whether it is mild or spicy it is always a hit with the crowd.  We all have different ways of preparing and enjoying this proudly South African relish, but the most beloved combination is chakalaka and pap. Chakalaka is so versatile it is not only a relish or condiment, but can also be a vegetable main dish.

We still kept all the flavours, which tantalize the taste buds, without the excess oils or sugars found in a classic chakalaka. Making our chakalaka a healthy option for any braai day.

What you will need

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Natural Herbs and Spices Paprika
  • 2 tsp Natural Herbs and Spices Medium Curry
  • 3 tsp Natural Herb and Spices Vegetable & Savoury
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • Small yellow, green and red bell peppers, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 2x400g tin pinto beans or cannelloni beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups maize meal
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tsp Natural Herbs and Spices Vegetable & Savoury
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped


Let’s start by pouring oil into a large pot. Then, add in onion and garlic and fry until the onion is translucent. Keep a close eye on the pot as the garlic tends to burn rather quickly. Stirring occasionally will prevent the garlic from burning.

Next up, drizzle in honey and liberally season with Natural Herbs and Spices Paprika, Medium curry powder and Vegetable & Savoury Seasoning. Cook the spices off for a minute or so. Chuck in the tomatoes and cook until they are tender. Now, mash the tender tomatoes to create a thick chunky tomato sauce. To the” tomato sauce” add in carrots, cabbage and peppers. Give everything a good stir until the veggies are covered in the “tomato sauce”.  Let the veggies cook until they are tender, this can take about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, we can start preparing the pap. Pour water into a large pot and bring the water to a boil. Season the water with Natural Herbs and Spices Vegetable & Savoury Seasoning. Then, gradually scatter in the maize meal, making sure to vigorously and continuously stir with a wooden spoon or a large whisk. Once all the maize meal is incorporated into the water, cover the pot and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, occasionally stirring the pap.  

Now, that the veggies are tender add in your beans of choice, (honestly you could use any bean or legume your heart desires), as well as the frozen peas and parsley, cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. This is Just to warm the beans and peas through.

Once the pap is cook, give it some pizazz by string in some fresh parsley, serve the pap with the yummy, healthy and tasty chakalaka. Enjoy!    


Recipe by food stylist and blogger of everything wholesome & tasty, Yena Mgobhozi:

Photographer: Elsa Vermeulen- www.