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~ Angolan Cuisine

A typical Portuguese feijoada à transmontana

Angolan cuisine is the cuisine of Angola, a country in south-central Africa. Because Angola was a Portuguese colony for centuries, Portuguese cuisine has significantly influenced Angolan cuisine, with many foods imported into Angola by the Portuguese.

A typical Portuguese feijoada à transmontana
A typical Portuguese feijoada à transmontana

Ingredients

Staple ingredients include flour, beans and rice, fish and chicken, various sauces, and vegetables such as sweet potato, tomatoes, onions, and okra. Spices such as garlic are also frequently seen.

Dishes

Fish calulu, a typical dish from Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe
Fish calulu, a typical dish from Angola and São Tomé e Príncipe

Funge (or funje) and pirão are very common dishes, and in poorer households often consumed at every meal. The dish can be eaten with fish, chicken, and beans. Funge de bombo, more common in northern Angola, is a paste or porridge of cassava (also called manioc or yucca), made from cassava flour. It is gelatinous in consistency and grey in colour. Pirão, yellow in colour and similar to polenta, is made from cornflour and is more common in the south. Fuba is the term for the flour that is used to make either funge and pirão. Both foods are described as bland but filling and are often eaten with sauces and juices or with gindungo (see below), a spicy condiment.

Muamba de Galinha (chicken muamba) is chicken with palm paste, okra, garlic, and palm oil hash or red palm oil sauce, often served with rice and funge. Both funge and moamba de galinga have been considered the National Dish. A variant dish of moamba de galinga, muamba de ginguba, uses ginguba (peanut sauce) instead of palm paste.

Other Dishes Common in Angolan Cuisine include:

  • Arroz (rice) dishes, including arroz da Ilha (rice with chicken or fish), arroz de garoupa da Ilha (rice with grouper), and arroz de marisco (white rice with seafood, typically prawns, squid, white fish, or lobster).
  • Cabidela, a dish cooked in blood, served with rice and funge. Frequently chicken (Galinha de cabidea), served with vinegar, tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
  • Caldeirada de cabrito, goat meat stew served with rice, a traditional dish for Angolan independence day, November 11.
  • Fish stews, including caldeirada de peixe, made with “whatever is available” and served with rice, and muzongue, made from whole dried and fresh fish cooked with palm oil, sweet potato, onion, tomato, spinach, and spices, and served with rice, spinach, funje, and farofa; some Angolans believe that the stew is a hangover cure if eaten before the onset of the headache.
  • Calulu, dried fish with vegetables, often onions, tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, garlic, palm oil, and gimboa leaves (similar to spinach); often served with rice, funge, palm oil beans, and farofa.
  • Caruru, a shrimp and okra stew, of Brazilian Portuguese origin.
  • Catatos, caterpillar fried with garlic, served with rice; a specialty in Uíge.
  • Chikuanga, a bread made from manioc flour, served in a wrap of banana leaves; a specialty of northeast Angola.
  • Cocada amarela – A yellow coconut pudding made with sugar, grated coconut, egg yolks, and ground cinnamon, a dessert in both Mozambique and Angola.
  • Doce de ginguba, peanut candy.
  • Farofa, rice and beans with toasted manioc flour on top; a Brazilian dish common in Angola.
  • Feijão de óleo de palma or dendem, beans, onion, and garlic cooked in palm oil; often served with fish, banana, and farofa.
  • Frango (grelhado) piri-piri, native to Angola and Mozambique, also a former Portuguese colony; a grilled chicken in a very hot marinade of piri piri hot pepper and sometime also minced chilli peppers, salt, and lemon or lime juice.
  • Gafanhotos de palmeria, toasted grasshopper from a palm tree, a Cuanza Norte specialty; often served with funge
  • Gindungo, a spicy condiment made of chilli pepper, garlic, onion, and sometimes brandy; thought by some Angolans to be an aphrodisiac.
  • Jinguinga, goat tripe and blood, a specialty of Malanje, often served with rice and funge.
  • Kifula, game meat served with boiled and toasted palm tree grasshoppers, a specialty of Cuanza Norte, served with funge.
  • Kissuto Rombo, roasted goat with garlic and lemon juice, served with rice and chips.
  • Kitaba, a spicy and crunchy peanut paste.
  • Kitetas, clams, often cooked in a white wine sauce and served with bread.
  • Kizaka, the leaves of the manioc plant, similar to spinach and often prepared with ginguba (peanut) and finely chopping and seasoned Kizaka com peixe is kizaka with fish, onion, and tomato, served with rice and funge.
  • Leite azedo com pirão de milh, a Huíla specialty, sour milk with maize porridge
  • Mafuma, frog meat, a Cunene specialty.
  • Mariscos cozidos com gindungo, lobsters, prawns, and clams cooked in seawater, served with rice and hot sauce
  • Mousse de maracujá, a mousse of passionfruit native to Brazil but popular in Angola.
  • Mufete of kacusso (or cacusso), grilled fish, often river tilapia, in a rich sauce of onion, vinegar, and spices, variously served with palm oil beans and cooked manioc, rice, sweet potato, or farofa
  • Mukua, dried fruit of the baobab tree, often made into ice cream.
  • Molho cru, sauce or paste served with seafood and fish, made of garlic cloves, scallions (spring onions), parsley, cumin, salt, vinegar, and water.
  • Ngonguenha, toasted manioc flour, sugar, and milk, a savoury dish.
  • Papaya with port wine
  • Pavé de ginguba, peanut sponge cake dessert.
  • Pé-de-moleque, coconut candy.
  • Quiabos com camarão, prawns with okra, garlic, onion, and tomato, served with rice.
  • Quitaba, roasted peanut paste with chilli pepper
  • Tarco, radishes with peanuts, palm oil, tomatoes, and onions, served alongside meat or fish.

Beverages

A number of beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are typical to Angola.

Various homemade spirits are made, including capatica (made from bananas, a Cuanza Nort specialty), caporoto (made from maize, a Malanje specialty); cazi or caxipembe (made from potato and cassava skin); kimbombo (made from corn), maluva or ocisangua (made with palm tree juice, sometimes described as “palm wine,” a Northern Angola specialty), ngonguenha (made from toasted manioc flour), and ualende (made from sugarcane, sweet potato, corn, or fruits, a Bie specialty). Other beverages are Kapuka (homemade vodka), ovingundu (mead made from honey), and Whiskey Kota (homemade whisky).

Popular non-alcoholic drinks include Kussangua, a Southern Angola specialty, a traditional non-alcoholic drink made of cornflour, as been used in indigenous healing rituals. Soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Mirinda, Sprite, and Fanta are also popular. While some soft-drinks are imported from South Africa, Namibia, Brazil, and Portugal, the Angolan soft-drink industry has grown, with Coca-Cola plants in Bom Jesus, Bengo, and Lubango opening since 2000.

Mongozo is a traditional homemade beer made from palm nuts, a specialty of the Lundas (Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul). Mongozo was brewed by the Chokwe people before the arrival of Europeans, and mongozo is now commercially produced for export, including to Belgium], where it is produced by Van Steenberge.

Various commercial beers are brewed in Angola, the oldest of which is Cuca, brewed in Luanda. Others include Eka (brewed in Dondo in Cuanza Sul), Ngola (brewed in Lubango), and Nocal (brewed in Luanda).

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