10 Favourite Foods of Angola
An oil and diamond-rich country in Central Africa, Angola was a Portuguese colony until 1975 when she gained independence. This accounts for the major influence that Portugal has on Angola’s cuisine, including the large number of food products imported into the country.
Possessing one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Angola is gradually becoming a hotbed for new businesses and tourism to flourish. Food is a serious affair for Angolans as seen in the beliefs many attach to several of their dishes. For instance, the caldeirada de peixe (a kind of fish stew) is believed to help cure hangovers if eaten before the onset of a headache. Staple ingredients used by Angolans in making dishes include beans, rice, flour, chicken, vegetables and spices like garlic.
Below is a list of the most popular Angolan foods in no particular order.
A most adventurous dish, Cabidela is made with poultry or rabbit cooked in its own blood, added to water with a little vinegar. The blood used in the dish is caught in a bowl while the animal is being slaughtered. The rice eaten with the meal is either cooked separately or with the meat, it’s resulting brownish colour explained by the blood.
- Fish Calulu (Calulu de Peixe)
A dish made with dried fish, delicious vegetables, red palm oil and spices, fish calulu or calulu de peixe is an Angolan signature dish typically served with Funje, a mashed potato-like substance made from cassava flour. This traditional and filling stew is very rich in flavours and spices and must be given a try.
Funge or funje is a type of cassava flour porridge. It is a classic porridge recipe that is made by stirring fufu (cassava flour) into boiling water. It is used as an accompaniment to many dishes in Angola such as fish calulu, chicken, beans or pork. It is also used to create a tasty balance to the forceful flavor and spiciness of most Angolan dishes.
- Moamba de Galinha
Moamba de galinha or chicken moamba is an aromatic Angolan chicken stew flavoured with chili, okra, vegetables, and garlic and cooked in red palm oil. This dish, as well as funje, are considered the national dishes of Angola. Another variant of the dish is the moamba de ginguba (which uses peanut sauce instead of red palm oil). Spicy and delicious, moamba de galinha is a must-have for all food lovers.
Made from manioc (cassava flour), Chikuanga is a typical northeastern Angolan specialty for bread lovers. It is served, wrapped in banana leaves, which imbue Chikuanga with a distinctive flavor.
- Cocada Amarela
A heavy dessert and pudding made with egg yolks, sugar, ground cinnamon, and grated coconuts, cocada amarela is a popular dessert in Angola. The name, which literally translates to “yellow coconut candy”, draws from the large quantities of egg yolks used, that give the dessert its yellow hue.
This toasted manioc (cassava) flour dish is common in Angola but is originally Brazilian. Farofa can look like large grains, couscous or even table salt sized and is often served with meat, rice, and bean-based dishes due to its tasteless nature. It is also toasted and flavoured with sausages, olives, garlic, boiled eggs, onions, and pork until the farofa is golden brown.
- Caldeirada de Cabrito
A goat meat stew served with rice, caldeirada de cabrito is a traditional dish served on November 11 to celebrate Angola’s Independence. Seasoned with crushed garlic, bay leaves, white wine and marinated to allow the flavours of the spices sink in properly, Angola’s caldeirada de cabrito is a delight for food lovers.
This favourite white rice dish is complemented with a variety of seafood. When paired with white fish, lobster, or prawns, it is called arroz de marisco. Another variation of the dish is arroz de garoupa da Ilha, which is white rice with grouper fish.
- Feijão de Óleo de Palma
A traditional Angolan dish, feijão de óleo de palma is prepared with beans and palm oil. The palm oil adds a sauce of dark orange with garlic, salt, and onions as spices. Accompanying bananas, toasted manioc (or garri as known in some parts of Africa) as well as grilled fish, and this local dish has its widely eaten variant in Nigeria and some other countries on the African continent.
These are just some of the several local delicacies to savour in Angola. Did I leave out your favourite dish?
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