Chakalaka

Lesotho* Entree

CHAKALAKA

INGREDIENTS

1 red or green bell pepper
2 red chiles
2 carrots
1 red onion
1 yellow onion
2 tomatoes
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Serves 4. Takes 30 minutes.

* = Technically, the adjective for Lesotho is Basotho. Would you have guessed that a Basotho entree was from Lesotho? I wouldn’t have.

PREPARATION

Seed and dice bell pepper and red chiles., Dice carrots, red onion, yellow onion, and tomatoes. Add carrot, red onion, yellow onion, and vegetable oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or yellow onion softens. Stir frequently. Add bell pepper, chile, tomato, curry powder, pepper, and salt. Sauté at medium heat for 10 minutes or until tomato bits lose their shape and become a stew. Stir occasionally. Goes well with corn meal cooked in water.

TIDBITS

1) As far as I can tell, there exist 23 songs containing the word chakalaka. Most of them do a variant on “chakalaka boom boom.” Culinary musicians, however, believe there are 33 varieties. 27 of them are excellent or at least passably good. The other six not so much. 33 recipes for chakalaka can be found. 27 are tasty. Six are meh. 27 amendments to the United States Constitution passed and became law. Six other amendments did not.

3) Clearly every time a chalaka recipe get written so does a chakalaka song.

4) Although it is not well known, American politicians like to write chakalaka songs and to prepare scrumptious new chalaka dishes. Everytime enough politicians get to write and cook chakalaka, they feel so happy and full of good will that they write an amendment to make life better for all Americans. In 1781, so many American lawmakers made enough such quality songs and meals that they up and wrote ten amendments, which would be become known as the Bill of Rights.

5) Sad to say, the ten recipes and songs that accompanied the first ten amendments have been lost to history. We shall have to console ourselves with the freedoms enshrined by the Bill of Rights.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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