Jan Braai Chakalaka Burger

A braai is not complete without the original South African spicy relish, chakalaka!

Serves: 4
Time: 30 minutes
Recipe by: Jan Braai


500g lean beef mince (or 4 high-quality hamburger patties)
4 hamburger rolls
olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 bell pepper (green, yellow or red, seeded and chopped)
1 carrot (peeled and grated, or chopped)
2 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
ginger (chopped or grated, equal in volume to the garlic)
2 tsp medium curry powder
1 tin or sachet tomato paste (around 50 g)
½ Cup liquid (water, wine, beer, cider or juice)
salt and pepper sour cream (a 250 ml tub is more than enough)


Convert the 500 g lean beef mince into four equally sized, 100% pure-beef patties. Pure mince binds perfectly for a great patty, don’t add anything like onion, breadcrumbs, egg, spices, salt or pepper. Your two recently washed hands are entirely capable of forming patties from mince but a patty press makes the job even easier.
Make the sauce: Heat 2 tots of oil in your fireproof pan or pot and saute the onion, pepper and carrot until soft. Then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute. Add the curry powder and tomato paste and fry for a minute to release the flavours of the spices. When things become too sticky at the bottom of the pan, add a dash of water to loosen the sticky bits and scrape all along the bottom to ensure nothing burns. In principle, the chakalaka is ready but will get better with time, so add half a cup of liquid, stir that in and let it simmer while you braai the patties. During this time, add salt and pepper to taste.
Braai the patties in a grid over very hot coals. Aim for 8 minutes braai time in total, only turning once.
Oil the insides of the cut rolls and toast on the grid, taking care not to over-toast (burn) them.
Assemble the burger: Roll, patty, chakalaka, sour cream, roll

Chefs Tip: To avoid the patties getting stuck to the grid, you can use a combination of the following tactics: Use a grid with thicker rods; spray the grid with nonstick spray; gently lay the patties onto the grid so that you’re not squeezing them into the grid; braai over very hot coals so that the patties seal before sinking into the grid; move the patties slightly with your braai tongs or spatula just as they start to braai and seal, so that ever-so-slightly braaied meat (as opposed to completely raw meat) touches the grid. As the meat cooks, it naturally starts loosening from the grid. Now, only turn the patties once and do that gently.

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