Chickpea chakalaka

Chickpea chakalaka

You must be logged in to favorite a recipe.Login

Thanks for your rating!

You must be logged in to rate a recipe. Login

  • Makes about 1 kg
  • Easy
  • Dairy free Meat-free wheat and gluten free
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes

There are countless variations of chakalaka but my all-time favourite is my mom’s raw salsa-like take on it. The addition of black garlic paste brings a beautiful umami dimension and a touch of acidity that awakens the whole dish. I’m not opposed to baked beans in a chakalaka, but the chickpeas make it heartier. This makes a great shakshuka base the next morning, too.


  • 1 x 4 pack Woolworths mixed peppers
  • oil, for frying
  • 8 baby onions, cut into quarters
  • trapper salt
  • 1 T medium curry powder
  • 3 T garam masala
  • 1 T berbere spice (or smoked paprika)
  • 4 large carrots, grated
  • 2 x 400 g cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 x 400 g cans chickpeas (or 500 g cooked dried chickpeas)
  • 3 T black garlic paste
  • salt, to taste
  • chilli oil, to taste
  • For the black garlic paste:
  • 4 heads Woolworths black garlic
  • 2 T boiling water
  • 1 T canola oil
  • For trapper salt, mix:
  • 2 t coriander seeds
  • 2 t caraway seeds
  • 50 g yellow mustard seeds
  • 50 g fenugreek
  • 4 T salt
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 2 1⁄2 T dried onion
  • 2 1⁄2 T dried garlic
  • 1 1⁄2 T chilli flakes

Cooking Instructions

1. To make the black garlic paste, peel the garlic and place the cloves in a mortar. Add the boiling water and oil and crush until a paste is formed. Reserve to add to your chakalaka or any gravy. It’s a great flavour bomb. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

2. Rub the peppers in oil and place in hot embers to char all over. Once charred, place in a bowl, cover in clingwrap and set aside.

3. Place a cast-iron pot onto the embers and add some oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions and cook until golden brown.

4. Add the trapper salt and spices, toast for a minute, then add the carrots and sweat for 8–10 minutes.

5. Peel and seed the charred peppers. Chop roughly and add to the pot with the tomatoes, bay leaves and chickpeas. Cook for 30 minutes.

6. Once cooked, add the black garlic paste, salt and chilli oil.

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Abigail Donnelly

Vusi Ndlovu Recipe by: Vusi Ndlovu
View all recipes

Chef and TASTE contributor Vusi Ndlovu is the co-owner of EDGE, a restaurant focusing on indigenous ingredients, reimagined with a fine dining twist and the tradition of cooking over an open fire.

Social Media

Related Recipes