For the next few days, I plan to write numerous posts about my recent trip to South Africa. I thought it would be fun to start off with a food post!
Whenever we travel to a new country or region, my husband and I love to try the local foods. Since my family couldn’t be with me on this trip, I thought I’d bring a little of South Africa home to them.
When we visited the Reagoboka Community Center, we were fed a delicious and authentic South African lunch of bogobe (porridge), morogo (spinach and potato mash), chakalala (beans and vegetables) and kgogo (chicken).
Yes, I will admit it, I took seconds (when no one was looking). It was amazing!
The chakalaka (beans and veggies) and the morogo (spinach and potato mash), were my favorites! The chakalaka looked so simple, I made a mental note of the flavors and ingredients, and determined to try making it when I returned home.
I found this recipe for South African Chakalaka. It looked kind of similar to what I remembered, so I used it as a starting point, adding zucchini, red peppers and fresh tomatoes—since I harvested my garden this week and was excited to cook a meal pretty much straight from my garden!
I left out the hot chili peppers, because my kids are sometimes sensitive to hotter foods.
I chopped the onions and garlic and while they were sauteing I added all the other chopped veggies to a bowl. So pretty and so simple!
I then added the veggies and a large can of pork and beans (24 oz) to the large saucepan. (I was glad I used a very large saucepan. This made enough for 2-3 meals!)
After it came to a boil, I let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
In hindsight, I should have looked at my photo from South Africa first. I see they had green beans in theirs and it looks like red pepper flakes. I also liked how they had more beans.
I am pretty much convinced you could add almost any vegetable or amount of veggies to this recipe and it would turn out quite well though. I might add less cabbage next time and throw in some green beans. Or I might just add whatever leftovers I have in the fridge – since that’s probably what they do!
I did add about 1 cup of water, because I wanted to serve it more like a soup. In the future I probably won’t do this. I also will consider adding the beans for just the last 5-10 minutes of simmering. I did not feel they needed cooked as long as everything else. (I might even try replacing the pork and beans with white navy beans.)
All said and done though, the flavor was incredible, my family loved it, and my husband wouldn’t stop talking about it. So it was a win!
- 4 Tbsp oil (we used coconut)
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbsp gingerroot
- 3 small chilies (we left this out)
- 2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes (or 4-5 fresh tomatoes)
- 1 green pepper
- 2-3 carrots
- 3 small zucchini (or 1 zucchini)
- 1 (24oz) can pork and beans
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large saucepan.
- Saute onions until they are soft and transparent.
- Add garlic, giner and chili peppers. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add curry powder and cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetables, and bring them to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Add water if necessary.
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My trip is now over, and I have returned home, but I will still be sending updates about my trip, about being an advocate and about the work God is doing in South Africa. I also plan to share some unique stories and photos with this email list, that will not be shared on the blog. So be sure to sign up and follow along!