Thursday, June 10, 2021

Lesothan Chakalaka With Papa

Chakalaka is served with papa in Lesotho and this is a very traditional dish and everyday meal in Lesotho. The Lesothan chakala is a bit milder than the South African version. Chakalaka is a stew/relish made with carrots, bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Scotch bonnet peppers are used to make this. I have substituted that with habanero peppers. Chakalaka is served with papa, which is cooked cornmeal. It is known by different names like ugali, fufu, pap, pap-pap.... throughout Africa. Papa is served with sugar and milk for breakfast. It is served with chakalaka or any other stew for lunch/dinner.

We are traveling to Lesotho this month in our #eattheworldchallenge group. Lesotho is a landlocked country in Africa. It is bordered by South Africa on all sides. We loved this simple everyday meal from this country. Also we tried the rooibos latte and the fried doughnuts. Check cultureatz if you would like to join and hop on board with us if you are interested in joining our journey...

I followed my recipe from International Cuisine. I changed the quantity of tomatoes. We liked it with more tomatoes. Also, I have used habaneros instead of scotch bonnet peppers. There are many variations of chakalaka  from region to region. Some recipes include beans.


For the papa:
Corn meal - 1/2 cup
Water - 1.5 to 2 cups

For the chakalaka:

Onion - 1 cup, diced
Carrots - 1 cup, diced
Red bell pepper - 1 cup, diced
Habanero - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp, minced
Salt - 1 tsp
Pepper - to taste
Crushed tomatoes - 2 cups


Boil water and add the corn meal with stirring to prevent lumps. Cook for 20 -25 minutes with stirring now and then to prevent burning. Cook till it gathers to a mass. Set aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and habanero and cook till translucent. Add the chopped bell peppers and carrots, cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt and simmer for 8-10 minutes.

Serve with papa.

Check out all the wonderful Lesotho dishes prepared by fellow Eat the World members and share with #eattheworld. Click here to find out how to join and have fun exploring a country a month in the kitchen with us! 

Palatable Pastime: Lesotho Likhobe
Magical Ingredients: Lesothan Chakalaka With Papa 
Making Miracles: Lekhotloane 
Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Borotho - Bread from Lesotho 
A Day in the Life on the Farm: Makoenva 
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Afrikaanse Stoofschotel 


  1. This looks very cozy and filling!

  2. That International Cuisine got a ton of hits from us this month LOL. That was a great menu they put up.

  3. I love all the different versions of Chakalaka there are - unique to every different African cook! Yours looks particularly inviting, lovely and light and satisfying.