A Twist on Cha-Cha | Indianapolis Food Blogger

Southern Cuisine aka Soul Food, by way of my Granny, gave me my first lessons in the kitchen. One of the dishes I learned to make was a condiment called “Cha Cha” or known as “Chow Chow” in some areas on the U.S. I know what you’re thinking, what is this “Cha Cha” this lady speaks of? Hold tight. I’ve got a story. redCabbage3

Cha Cha is magic. It’s hybrid of a relish/condiment/slaw. It’s a combination of hearty vegetables like cabbage, tomatoes, onions, spices and vinegar, and are blended together to make a tangy topping for your chicken, greens, cornbread, etc. In my eyes, its a slaw, relish, salad, side dish, all of the above. This little slaw type mixture can go really far. Growing up, my Granny made Cha Cha by the ton, it’s truly a standing tradition in my family. My uncle has taken over where my Granny left off, and I know she would be proud. Cha Cha is such a unique flavor. Spicy, Tangy, Sweet.  I just love the components of Cha Cha, and one day I thought, “Why not pull this together somehow and create this in a side dish form.?” Insert my twist on Cha Cha.  This is a dish that pairs perfect with rice, pasta, pork or chicken. It versatile. For my twist on this classic, recipe I used a red purple cabbage, and turned this into a dish that screams “comfort meal.” Thanks Granny, for inspiring this one.  Oh, it Vegan Friendly. 🙂
Grab the recipe below.


Granny's Cha Cha-revamped
Comfort defined. A popular condiment under goes a revamp. Sweet, savory cabbage side dish.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
  1. 1 Large Red Cabbage, halved, and chopped slaw style
  2. 2 carrots, diced
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. 1 celery stalk, diced
  5. 1 small green bell pepper, diced
  6. 1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
  7. 1/2-3/4 cup Water
  8. 3/4 cup Apple Cider Balsamic Vinegar
  9. 1/4 cup White Sugar
  10. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  11. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  12. Heavy pinch of Black Pepper
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat grapeseed oil.
  2. To the pot on medium heat, add cabbage, vegetables, and fennel seeds, stir to combine.
  3. Add Sugar, Salt, Pepper, Water and stir until well combined and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, and cover with lid and cook for 1 hour until tender.
  5. In the last 20 minutes of cooking add Apple Cider Vinegar and stir well to combine.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
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