It’s true- South African’s love the spicy tingle of a delicious condiment to pep up their favourite dishes. And there’s nothing that beats the tart piquancy and delicious taste of our home-grown best- Chakalaka! Whether you’re a fan of Miami Canner’s own delicious chakalaka range, or you’re brave enough to whip up your own based on Gogo’s secret recipe, it’s a South African success story that has captured the culinary world. Here’s some more fun facts about this fan favourite condiment.

Defining Chakalaka

Try to explain chakalaka to your overseas friends. It’s ok, we’ll wait! It’s been said to have originated from the goldmines of Johannesburg, or with the input of Mozambican immigrants longing for a taste of home as they did what they could to summon up a delicious meal with the canned goods available to them. 

Based on the idea of a tasty veggie relish, one of the best things about this delicious dish is how versatile it is. Everyone has their own opinions on what makes the best chakalaka sing, but at its core it’s a simple, inexpensive spice-and-pickle based dish packed with onions, tomatoes, and beans. Add curry, chilli, and anything else you’d like to create your very own take on an old favourite- or simply toss a Miami can in your cart and tell the neighbours you made it from scratch. We won’t tell!

Using Chakalaka

There’s as many ways to enjoy chakalaka as there are people eating it, so don’t feel confined to any one dish. Traditionally, however, chakalaka is served to lighten up a fluffy pap, packed with a spicy tingle reminiscent of Portuguese cuisine. This makes it an ideal side for your braais- in fact, there may be an argument if you miss this critical dish!

Chakalaka is also commonly used in uniquely South African street foods, because it’s tasty, keeps well, and packs a healthy punch as well as delicious taste. Try pairing it with a starch, like the bread in bunny chow or even toss it in a potato salad with a twist. It also makes a great alternative to traditional tomato-based braai relish for a saucy, succulent wors roll- perfect for active kids who need a tasty, healthy lunch while on summer holiday!

Once you try this delicious, deceptively simple veggie relish for yourself, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Do you have a favourite way to use chakalaka? Or are you just happy as long as it’s on the table? Miami Canners are proud to offer a truly South African favourite in our range of healthy, quick-to-prepare dishes, so don’t be shy- embrace a taste of home this Christmas and add some chakalaka to your festive spread.