How to make South Africa Chakalaka and Chakalaka chicken

South Africa Chakalaka is a traditional vegetable dish that is often served at barbecues and celebrations. This relish is usually served cold or hot and is a staple at most family gatherings. It can be made with a variety of vegetables, beans, and spices, including pap (corn) and dried beans. The name chakalaka comes from the fact that it’s made from the same ingredients as pap, and can be eaten either hot or cold.

Chakalaka chicken Recipe

Chakalaka Chicken
A pot of chakalaka chicken bubbling with flavor – the heart of south african cuisine.
This Hearty Chakalaka Chicken Is Saucy, Delicious And Goes A Long Way. Serve With Your Favourite Savoury Rice And Chips Or Alternatively, Pita Bread And Salad.

Chakalaka chicken

This hearty CHAKALAKA CHICKEN is saucy, delicious and goes a long way. Serve with your favourite savoury rice and chips or alternatively, pita bread and salad.
5 from 1 vote
Course: Main dishes, Party
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Chakalaka, Chakalaka chicken, chakalaka recipe, south africa chakalaka
CookingStyle: Baking, Roasting
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 215kcal
Author: Hung Dao
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  • Wash the chicken and your veggies.
  • Grate the carrot and put it in a bowl.
  • Add 1 TSP of salt, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (these seeds are usually used for Indian based dishes, but it works for this dish as well), Mexican chili spice, and bio spice. Also, some black pepper and garlic to taste
  • You can use any spice for this recipe; it all depends on you. Many people use these spices because they love the flavor with the chicken.
  • Mix all the spices together with the chicken. Make sure it is marinated perfectly. Let it chop and marinate for a few minutes.
  • Dice the onion, tomato, and green pepper. (Be mindful of the knife).
  • Make sure you wash all your vegetables before you chop them up.
  • You can use either one or two onions and tomatoes for this recipe.
  • (You can use a green, red, or yellow pepper or all of them for this recipe just for a bit of color).


  • Place the chicken into a hot pan with oil.
  • Make sure that the pan is nice and hot.
  • Turn the chicken pieces around and make sure both sides of the chicken get brown.
  • Note : The chicken shouldn’t stay too long into this pan. It should be at least 5 to 10 minutes just until that golden brown color.
  • Bring down and leave to cool.
  • Add the diced onions to a hot pan.
  • Let the onion simmer for about a minute
  • Don’t let them cook too much to retain its crunchiness.
  • Then, add your green pepper, tomato, and fresh red chili.
  • You can use any chili with this recipe.
  • Make sure you mix everything together.
  • Add the grated carrots to the onion mix and stir everything well together.
  • Make sure this mixture is not too fatty.
  • Let the carrots simmer and then add your baked beans to the carrot mix and a quarter of a teaspoon of tomato paste.
  • Mix everything together. Add a little bit of chugga-lugga spice and some curry powder and water and mitt itself.
  • Place the chicken in an oven tray and add the mix on top of the chicken. Make sure you’ve got all of it for that amazing taste.
  • Place the chicken in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for
  • 20 to 25 minutes
  • Place in a plate and add parsley or coriander to garnish your dish.



The recipe for Chakalaka is a versatile staple in the country's kitchen. It can be served as a hot or cold condiment or served as a side dish. It is common in South Africa and can be found in many shebeens, despite its spicy nature. It is usually served as a condiment, sauce, or salad, and can be paired with meats and fish. It is a great way to start a meal, and will make your guests happy, too.
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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 215kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Fat: 9g | Sodium: 468mg | Sugar: 13g
© Food And Meal

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the Spoonacular Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.

Alternative Method: Slow Cooker Chakalaka Chicken

Chakalaka Chicken
Vibrant spices and fresh ingredients combine to create chakalaka chicken’s rich, bold taste.


  • 4 chicken breasts or thighs, bone-in and skinless
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red and green), diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Chakalaka spice blend (adjust to your heat preference)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • Cooked rice or bread for serving


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken pieces until they turn golden brown on both sides. This step enhances the flavor and texture of the chicken.
  • In the slow cooker, add the chopped onions, diced bell peppers, and minced garlic. Place the seared chicken on top of the vegetables.
  • Sprinkle the Chakalaka spice blend over the chicken and vegetables. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of spice.
  • Pour the can of crushed tomatoes over the chicken and vegetables. The tomatoes will add depth and moisture to the dish.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remember that you can adjust the level of salt according to your preference.
  • Give everything a gentle stir to combine the ingredients and evenly distribute the spices.
  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The slow cooking process will allow the flavors to meld, and the chicken will become tender and succulent.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Serve your Slow Cooker Chakalaka Chicken over cooked rice or with fresh bread. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.

Tips for making Chakalaka Chicken

Chakalaka Chicken
Pairing chakalaka chicken with pap for an authentic south african meal.

Cooking Tips

  • Balancing Spices: The key to a delectable Chakalaka Chicken lies in the spice blend. Experiment with the Chakalaka seasoning to find the perfect level of heat for your taste buds. Some like it hot, while others prefer a milder version. Adjust accordingly.
  • Marinate for Flavor: For even more flavor, marinate the chicken in the Chakalaka spice blend for an hour or two before cooking. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat, infusing it with South African goodness.
  • Searing for Depth: When using the slow cooker method, don’t skip the searing step. It adds depth to the chicken’s flavor and locks in the juices.
  • Check Doneness: Ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. It should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to guarantee it’s safe to eat.
  • Patience with Slow Cooking: If you opt for the slow cooker method, patience is key. Allow the ingredients to simmer slowly, letting the flavors meld over time for a more robust dish.
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Serving Suggestions

Chakalaka Chicken
Chakalaka chicken is a delicious family feast that brings everyone together.
  • Sides: Serve your Chakalaka Chicken with sides like steamed rice, pap (a South African maize porridge), or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
  • Garnishes: Fresh cilantro, chopped parsley, or a drizzle of plain yogurt can add a burst of freshness to your dish.
  • Pickles: South African pickles, like atchar or Mrs. Ball’s chutney, make excellent accompaniments, offering a sweet and tangy contrast.
  • Beverages: Pair your Chakalaka Chicken with South African beverages such as Rooibos tea or a glass of your favorite red wine.
  • Salads: A fresh cucumber and tomato salad with a tangy vinaigrette can balance the richness of the Chakalaka Chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions about Chakalaka Chicken

Chakalaka Chicken
Drizzle of yogurt, fresh cilantro, and spicy chakalaka chicken – a flavor explosion!
  • Can I make Chakalaka Chicken less spicy? Absolutely! Adjust the amount of Chakalaka spice blend to control the heat level and make it milder to suit your preference.
  • What should I do with leftovers? Leftover Chakalaka Chicken is delicious the next day. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave.
  • Is it necessary to marinate the chicken in Chakalaka seasoning? While marinating enhances flavor, it’s not essential. You can still achieve a delicious Chakalaka Chicken by seasoning the meat during cooking.
  • Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe? Yes, you can use boneless chicken breasts or thighs. Adjust the cooking time to ensure they are cooked through.
  • Can I freeze Chakalaka Chicken? Yes, Chakalaka Chicken freezes well. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bags for up to three months. Thaw and reheat as needed for a quick, flavorful meal.

Experience South Africa on a plate with our Chakalaka Chicken recipe. Spice up your meals and discover a world of flavor in this South African classic. Subscribe now!

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