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Mini steamed breads stuffed with bean chakalaka

Nothing says ‘soul food’ like some delicious savoury South African gems. These mini steamed breads stuffed with bean chakalaka are sure to satisfy every comfort food craving you have!

MAKES 6 // COOKING TIME 1 hour 5 min

For the chakalaka filling
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp crushed garlic
1–2 chillies, chopped
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large carrot, grated
400 g tin baked beans
Salt and pepper
For the steamed breads
560 g flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
4 tsp sugar
500 ml lukewarm water

For the chakalaka filling
1. Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onion for 5 minutes. Then add the curry powder, garlic and chilli to taste. Fry for 1 minute.
2. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, pepper and carrot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the baked beans and cook for 3 minutes. Season.
For the steamed breads
1. Grease 6 heatproof moulds (tin camping mugs work well).
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the water. Knead until the dough is combined and no longer sticks to your hands.
3. Divide dough into 6 pieces and roll into balls. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the centre of each ball. Fill with 1 tsp chakalaka. Pinch the sides closed, leaving no filling visible.
4. Place the balls in mugs, cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.
5. Place the mugs in a pot and fill with water ¼ way up their sides. Cook over medium heat with the lid on for 10 minutes. Cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid slightly ajar.
6. Allow the steamed breads to cool slightly before removing from the mugs.

Top Tip

Avoid getting any water inside the mugs – this will cause the bread to come out soggy instead of light and fluffy.

Recipe & styling: Amerae Vercueil
Photography: Andreas Eiselen/

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