Zimbabwean Chakalaka Traditional Recipe

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Chakalaka is one of Zimbabwe’s best “comfort foods”. It is traditionally a meatless stew, chocked full of all kinds of vegetables and beans, spiced and seasoned just enough to meld all the ingredients together nicely. A good bowl of Chakalaka will be a taste treat that will satisfy you and fill you up.


Chakalaka (Photo Attributed to Author: philipp from cape town, south africa)

Zimbabwean Chakalaka Traditional Recipe-

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 green sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded, and rough chopped
  • 1 yellow or orange or red sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded, and rough chopped
  • 2 tsp. barbecue spice
  • 2 tsp. piri piri spice blend
  • 1 tbsp. hot curry powder
  • 6 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, cored and rough chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 14 oz. canned baked beans in tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil’
  • water
  • 1 tsp. Knorr aromat seasoning 
  • Directions:
    1. In a large cooking pot over medium flame, warm up the oil.
    2. Add in the bell peppers and the onion, stir in the piri piri, curry and barbecue seasoning, and fry until the peppers and onions are soft, and the onions are translucent and fragrant.
    3. Next, add and stir in the grated carrots, baked beans (include the tomato canning sauce) and tomatoes; stir to mix together well.
    4. Maintain the heat at medium, and let the mixture to cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, especially scraping the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is getting burnt and sticking.
    5. Determine how soupy or stewy you want your Chakalaka to be. The liquids from the tomatoes and the canned beans sauce may be all you need for a thick stew. If you want to loosen it up some, add some water now, until you reach your desired consistency.
    6. Last into the pot goes the Knorr aromat seasoning. Stir it in well, and then cook for about another 10 minutes.
    7. Serve your Zimbabwean Chakalaka with some plain Sadza on the side.

    Note: For more delicious, traditional and authentic recipes from Zimbabwe, click here.

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