Chakalaka (Cabbage Bean Curry): #131 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Chakalaka is a South African dish that’s like a cross between a chili and a curry. Made with cabbage, beans, tomatoes, onions, and spices, it’s easy to prepare as a lovely comforting dinner. We had it on top of baked potatoes, but you could serve it over rice or pasta just as well. We’ll be making this again!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($6.50 total for a big pot)

2 tbsp olive oil – $0.20
1/2 onion, minced – $0.25
1 tbsp curry powder – $0.70
1 tsp garlic powder – $0.28
1 tsp thyme – $0.28
1/2 tsp paprika – $0.14
1/2 tsp ginger – $0.14
1 can diced tomatoes – $1.59
1 cabbage, chopped – $2.49
3 cups cooked beans – $0.24
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then add the minced onion. Cook for 5 minutes, then add in the curry powder, garlic powder, thyme, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook for a couple more minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well, then add the cabbage and beans.

3. Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm over baked potato, rice, or pasta.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers 
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 2 = decent meal (for the younger kiddos, 3 for the older ones!)
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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