Chakalaka is a spicy vegetable relish used most often at braai's with meat and pap.Because I love all things spicy the tin of chakalaka immediately caught my attention. In fact, I thought you could only get it in a tin and we have definitely tried many brands and variants and loved all of them.This was until we had a braai with work colleagues and one of the ladies volunteered to bring her mom's home made chakalaka. I was converted and immediately demanded a recipe. I don't use quite as much oil or chilli as she did, but basically the recipe remains the same.
Grate onions, garlic and carrots. Thinly shred cabbage and slice green peppers. The amounts will depend on how much you make but remember,cabbage always reduces considerably in bulk when cooked. Fry the onions,garlic and carrots in about 1/4 cup of oil ( more if you are making a big pot full).
When the onions are transparent add the cabbage and green peppers and fry until the cabbage is soft. Add one or two tins of chopped tomatoes, some chillies (either green or red and however many you want for heat) and some curry powder. Don't add too much curry powder, maybe a teaspoon, as the taste should not overpower the rest of the dish. Add one or two vegetable stock cubes and allow to simmer very gently on the stove for about two hours.
By now, you should have a pot of rich, red, spicy vegetables that shine in the oil. Chakalaka is best served at room temperature as a side-dish or relish at a braai.It is a fantastic accompaniment to boerewors and is great with pap. I actually have it on toast as a relish with cheese, or sometimes just eat it in spoonfuls out of the bowl!
Because it takes a bit of time to cook, I make a big pot full and preserve the rest in jars. Prepare the jars properly by making sure they are perfectly clean. I normally put a little water in the bottom and whizz them in the microwave for about a minute. This effectively sterilizes the jars and warms the glass. Fill the jars with warm chakalaka and close the jars tightly. The chakalaka will keep for a few weeks in your store cupboard - if you don't eat it before then!