Marabi Club head Chef Katlego Mlambo recalls one of the most memorable highlights of his 10-year career as the day Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and 500 of the most important people in the world ate his chakalaka.
Mlambo took the reigns as head chef at the Nelson Mandela Centenary Celebrations, hosted at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC in 2019. This is the recipe that he used to bring a taste of the Kasi (township) to the United States.
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 green bird’s-eye chilies (Thai chilies), seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 50 grams ginger, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 5 large carrots, scrubbed, topped, tailed and grated
- 400 grams canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 400 grams canned baked beans
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 10 grams fresh curry leaves
1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add the chilies, garlic and half of the ginger (reserve the other half to add right at the end).
2. Add the curry powder and stir to combine. Add the bell peppers and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the carrots and stir to make sure they are well combined with the other ingredients and coated in the curry powder. Add in the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
3. Cook until the mixture is well combined and slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and add the baked beans, thyme and remaining ginger and stir to combine; season with salt and pepper.
5. Serve hot or cold and garnish with deep-fried curry leaves.