Chef's Recipes

Africola chakalaka

Duncan Welgemoed recipe for Africola chakalaka.

By Duncan Welgemoed
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 10 mins cooking plus marinating, preparing barbecue
  • Serves 6 - 8
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Africola chakalaka
"Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy, that's traditionally served with braised meat, pap and curries. It originated in the townships of Soweto," says Welgemoed. "There are many variations on how to make chakalaka, often depending on region and family tradition. Many versions include beans. For example, a tin of baked beans, tin of tomatoes, onion, garlic and some curry paste can be used to make the dish. We've adapted chakalaka using radicchio to be served with roasted meats." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the radicchio.


  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Madras curry powder
  • 2 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 50 gm (2 cups) fresh curry leaves
  • 2 birdseye chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 heads radicchio, quartered
  • 200 ml red wine vinegar


  • 1
    Gently warm oil, curry powder and cardamom in a saucepan over medium heat to 75C, add curry leaves, chilli and garlic, then set aside to cool and for flavours to infuse oil (10-15 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, heat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat and grill radicchio until lightly charred all over (1-2 minutes each side). Remove cores, separate leaves and transfer to a deep bowl. Stir vinegar into infused oil, then pour oil over the radicchio, toss to coat, then cover and marinate at room temperature for a day. Serve with grilled meat and fish, and in prego rolls. Chakalaka will keep refrigerated for up to a week.