4 Side Dishes to Upgrade Your Menu

Complement your menu’s main meals with this mix of classic and creative side dishes

  • by Heather Clancy
  • Sep 25, 2015
  • 660
  • Reviews
Benny's chakalaka

Complement your menu’s main meals with this mix of classic and creative side dishes. Think chakalaka, maize bread, old fashioned slap chips and potato salad with a twist! Easy to prepare, tasty and cost-effective – these side dishes tick all the boxes. Easily interchangeable and open to variation, earn ready rave reviews and empty plates!

Benny's chakalaka recipe

Recipe by MasterChef SA judge Benny Masekwameng ( www.timeslive.co.za )

Make your side dish the star dish! We list 4 of the best recipes of salads and side dishes to sell at your tavern.

A South African classic that upgrades any meal.


  • 45ml (3 tbsp) oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 hot chillies, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 15ml - 30ml (1 - 2 tbsp) curry powder, depending on your taste
  • 3 tomatoes, grated
  • 1 x 420g can baked beans in tomato sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion, carrot, chillies, garlic and curry powder for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft, stirring frequently.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the baked beans, season and stir to heat through. Serve hot or cold.

Chef's tips:

  • Baked beans are a common addition to chakalaka; they make it a full meal when paired with mealie pap.
  • Other possible additions include minced fresh ginger (added with the onions), chopped peppers, shredded cabbage or chopped cauliflower (added after the tomatoes and simmered until cooked), and chopped coriander (stirred in at the end).

Maize bread

Recipe source: www.ukuva-iafrica.com

Everyone has their favourite pap recipe, but why not get creative with maize meal with this hearty and wholesome recipe.


  • 500ml cake flour
  • 10ml baking powder
  • 5ml salt
  • 125ml fine maize meal
  • 340g can of whole kernel corn (drained)
  • 3 eggs
  • 175ml double cream yoghurt


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Generously butter a small loaf tin - the inside of the tin must look properly smeared with butter - not just slightly shiny. (This ensures a crust of incomparable deliciousness!)
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix in the maize meal and corn kernels. Beat the eggs and yoghurt together, stir into the flour mixture and pour into the tin.
  3. Bake for 75 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  4. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Serve with real butter.

Chef’s tips:

  • This bread is best enjoyed fresh and tastes even better when served with saucy dishes.
  • Feel free to get creative! Add dried herbs or chilli flakes for a flavour burst.

McCain slap chips

No introduction or complicated recipe required! McCain Slap Chips can be fried in oil directly from the freezer, or baked in the oven (although fried simply tastes much better). Remember, the following cooking instructions are approximate guidelines for 500g of product. 

For different quantities adjust cooking times accordingly.


  1. Add oil to a deep frying pan.
  2. Heat oil to 175°C. Add one chip to test; if the chip floats the oil is ready for frying.
  3. Add the rest of the chips to the oil and fry for 3 – 3½ minutes until crispy and light golden in colour.
  4. Drain, season and serve.

Keep in mind, due to varying conditions, cooking times stated should be used as a guide only.

Chef’s tip:

  • Enjoy these soft and salty chips in a bunny chow, or served with a classic burger.
  • Do not refreeze chips that have thawed.

Best-ever potato salad

Recipe by The Star’s Angela Day (www.angeladay.co.za)

There are countless variations of this classic side dish, but this one claims to be the “best-ever”.


  • 1kg potatoes
  • 250g bacon, diced
  • 125ml chopped gherkins
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 30ml fresh dill, chopped
  • 250ml creamy mayonnaise
  • 125ml Greek yoghurt
  • 10ml wholegrain mustard
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Place the unpeeled potatoes in salted water and boil for 20-30 minutes until tender.
  2. Remove, drain and cool before peeling.
  3. Cut into cubes and place in a bowl.
  4. Fry the bacon until just crisp.
  5. Drain on absorbent paper and add to the potatoes with the gherkins, onion, celery and dill.
  6. Mix together the mayonnaise, yoghurt, mustard and lemon juice.
  7. Pour over the potatoes and mix to combine.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef’s tip:

  • Potato salad is a crowd-pleaser and is a great choice when catering for large numbers.
  • Omit the bacon and add chopped fresh herbs for a vegetarian option.