Angola, a country wealthy in oil and diamonds in Central Africa, was a Portuguese colony until 1975 when it attained independence. This explains Portugal’s strong influence on Angolan cuisine, as well as the enormous number of food goods imported into the country from abroad.
Most Popular Angolan Dishes
Beans, rice, flour, chicken, vegetables and garlic are staple ingredients in Angolan cuisine. As well as Portuguese influences, Angola’s African neighbors such as Zambia, Namibia and the DRC also help to shape the Angolan diet with popular regional dishes. So without further ado, here are the absolute must-try traditional dishes of Angola along with recipes for you to try for yourself.
Muamba de Galinha
Muamba de Galinha is one of Angola’s most popular dishes, frequently referred to as the country’s national dish. It’s a chicken stew with palm oil, tomatoes, butternut squash, and okra.
Muamba de Galinha translates in English to Chicken in Muamba Sauce (a palm oil sauce common in West African stews). It is typically a red color and has a distinctly spicy, salty taste. It is most commonly served with funge.
The dish is high in antioxidants that helps prevent heart disease and controls cholesterol.
Kizaka is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes in Angola and consists of ground peanuts and boiled cassava leaves, which are a unique combination of flavors and consistency. Both the cassava and peanuts are stewed until the mixture is thick, silky and nutty.
Kizaka is considered as one of the healthiest dishes in Angola.
Feijão de Óleo de Palma
Feijo de óleo de palma is a typical Angolan dish made with beans, palm oil, which creates a dark orange sauce, and spices like garlic, salt and onions.
It is more of a regional dish and is often served with bananas, toasted manioc (or garri as it is known in some parts of Africa), and grilled fish. It is also popular in Nigeria and other African countries.
Farofa is a side dish most commonly associated with Brazil, prepared with cassava flour. Farofa can resemble huge grains, couscous or even table salt, and is frequently served with meat, rice and bean-based recipes.
It is roasted until golden brown and flavored with sausages, olives, garlic, boiled eggs, onions and pork.
Cabidela is a dish consisting of either poultry or rabbit cooked in their own blood, along with water and a little vinegar. While the animal is being butchered, the blood utilized in the dish is collected in a bowl. The rice’s brownish colour is due to the blood, which is cooked along with the meat.
Fish Calulu (Calulu de Peixe)
Fish calulu or calulu de peixe is a dish made with dried fish, vegetables, red palm oil and spices. It’s usually served with Funje, a mashed potato-like material produced from cassava flour. It is a hearty, satisfying stew that can be quite simple to make yet filling.
Mufete de Peixe
Mufete de Peixe is a dish made up of grilled whole fish, usually tilapia, that’s been packed with lemons, onions and spices. It is traditionally eaten with Feijo de óleo de palma (palm oil beans), boiled plantain, sweet potatoes, and cassava.
Chikwanga is a traditional bread made from cassava flour cakes wrapped in banana leaves and steamed in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Warm chikwanga is also commonly served with various African stews, soups, and sauces to balance out their hot flavors. Before placing on a dish, this is usually cut into thick round slices.
Catatos is essentially fried caterpillars with garlic and often onions, peppers and tomatoes added too. The caterpillars should be delicate and crispy on the outside. Because caterpillars have more protein and iron than fish and steak, the dish has great nutritional value. It is most commonly served with rice, funje and hot sauce.
Caruru is an okra and shrimp dish made with manioc onion, garlic, fish stock and oil. Boiled okra and shrimp are sautéed with garlic and onion, then combined with manioc and fish stock, followed by okra. Peanuts are also often added for a crunchy texture.
Funge, also known as fufu throughout Western Africa, is a type of huge dumpling prepared using a mixture of cassava and green plantain flour. Both the ingredients are combined in equal portions with water and then cooked on a pan over a low flame. The prepared mixture is then moistened using lukewarm water and shaped into a ball.
It is eaten with fingers and is used to scoop up other foods on the plate, particularly sauces and soups. Fufu is also a staple dish of many other countries throughout Africa.