The Real Optimist
A Savory South African dish consisting of vegetable relish, usually spicy, that is traditionally served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries. Here we are taking things to another culinary level and adding baked beans.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine African
Servings 4


  • 1/4 cup Cooking Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1-2 tsp Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika (use regular paprika as a substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Minced
  • 1-2 Tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups Cabbage sliced
  • 1-2 Chile Peppers (remove seed to reduce heat, add peppers until desired heat level is reached)
  • 1 large Carrot (grated long side or julienne cut)
  • 1 medium Green Pepper (diced)
  • 1 medium Red Pepper (diced)
  • 14 oz Baked Beans
  • 1 tsp Bouillon Powder


  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, give it a minute or two.
  • Stir in all the spices; garlic, ginger, smoked paprika, curry, cayenne pepper, thyme- continue stirring for about a minute to let the flavors bloom. Then add tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots and cabbage.
  • Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burns.
  • Finally add baked beans, bouillon powder stir Continue cooking for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Adjust for seasonings. Serve warm.