If you ever get a chance to attend a picnic or barbecue organised by a South African, you most likely will get the chance to sample one of South Africa’s favourite staple dishes. Pap, wors and chakalaka is a much loved dish in South Africa, it is made up of maize/corn flour (paste), wors (South African sausage) and chakalaka which is a side dish comprising, tomatoes, onions, garlic, black pepper and other ingredients listed in the recipe. This dish is eaten at all occasions, and the fact that it’s relatively inexpensive makes it a very popular dish among South Africans of all social economic backgrounds. If you are having pap, wors and chakalaka at a barbecue then the most popular drink to accompany it will be a cold glass of beer and perhaps a cold glass of juice or fizzy drink for those under the age of 18 or anyone else who does not drink alcohol.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (34 votes)



  • 6 cups (1.5 litres) water
  • salt to taste
  • 500 g maize meal (see Note)



  • 1 kg Boerewors sausage (see Note)
  • 50 g butter, diced



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp barbeque spice*, or to taste
  • 2 (300 g) ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 1 lemon, zested


Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

To make the pap, bring the water to a rolling boil in a large saucepan, add the salt and then gradually stir in the maize meal. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the saucepan and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring often, until maize is cooked through, lost any grittiness and has thickened).

To cook the boerewors, heat a flat barbecue plate or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the butter then the wors, and keep turning for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Last but not least to prepare the chakalaka; add the oil to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently until softened 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant 1-2 minutes. Add the barbecue spice, stir, then add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and lemon zest, and cook until tomato has softened.

Serve the pap and Boerewors with the chakalaka whilst hot.


• Maize meal is available from African food stores. Boerewors sausage and barbecue spice are available from South African butchers


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Michelle Noerianto.