A Mexican twist on South Africa’s famous chakalaka from Aiden Pienaar’s new cookbook Mexico in Mzansi
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Penguin Random House SA has shared a recipe for Mexican Chakalaka from Aiden Pienaar’s new cookbook Mexico in Mzansi!

In Mexico in MzansiPienaar brings local flair to some traditional Mexican favourites.

By thinking a little outside the box, and using South African ingredients and cooking techniques – boerie tacos and braaied corn, anyone? – Pienaar gives Mexican cuisine an Mzansi-style facelift.

Picture this: olive oil sizzles in a pan, welcoming onions, garlic, and green peppers. Spices join the party, followed by grated carrots and tomatoes. Black beans add depth, and fresh coriander seals the deal.

This recipe makes 4 cups.


You can’t have Mexico in Mzansi without at least one fun twist on the famous South African chakalaka.

Instead of navy or kidney beans, we will use black beans and a sprinkle of fresh coriander to elevate the flavours. There’s no doubt it’s chakalaka, but with a smoky Mexican twist.


olive oil for frying

4 large white onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 green bell peppers, deseeded and diced

1/2 cup curry powder

4 tsp chilli powder

4 tsp chipotle chilli marinade (turn to page 16 of Mexico in Mzansi for Chef Aiden’s original recipe)

10 carrots, peeled and grated

4 x 410g can chopped and peeled tomatoes

salt and ground black pepper to taste

4 x 400g can black beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander


Heat some olive oil in a heavy-based pot over medium heat.

Fry the onion, garlic and green pepper until the onion turns translucent.

Add the curry powder, chilli powder and chipotle chilli marinade and cook for 1 minute.

Next, add the grated carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes, then stir in the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and black pepper. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the black beans and cook, covered, for a further 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

This can be served hot or cold. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Categories Cookery Lifestyle Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Aiden Pienaar Cookbooks Cookery Mexico in Mzansi Penguin Random House SA Recipes

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