A beautiful country in southwestern Africa with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, Angola is home to many traditional dishes, reflecting the unique influences of the country’s indigenous and immigrant populations. If you are a food lover looking to experience traditional Angola food during your visit, you are in for a treat.
From grilled fish to stews and soups, Angolan cuisine is a delicious mix of exotic ingredients and bold flavors. You will find a wide range of traditional Angolan foods that is prime for a delicious meal.
What’s Special About Angola Food
Angola food is a fusion of Portuguese, African, and Brazilian culinary traditions, making it a unique blend of flavors and ingredients. The country’s tropical climate and abundant natural resources such as seafood, fruits, and vegetables influence the cuisine. Angolan cuisine is also known for its bold spices and herbs, such as chili peppers, garlic, and ginger, which add depth and complexity to dishes.
One of the most special things about Angola food culture is its emphasis on communal dining, with large portions often shared among family and friends. Traditional Angolan dishes are usually served with Funge, a starchy porridge made from cassava, maize, or rice flour.
Seafood dishes are also common, taking advantage of the country’s long coastline and fishing traditions. Other popular ingredients in Angola’s food include palm oil, okra, and peanuts, used in stews and soups.
Most Famous Food In Angola
Funge (Cassava Porridge)
Funge is a traditional Angolan food made from cassava flour. This starchy and slightly sour porridge is a staple in Angolan cuisine, and you can serve it as a side dish to accompany soups and stews.
Funge has been a favorite dish in Angola for generations and remains popular today due to its versatility and delicious flavor. Whether you want to experience authentic Angolan food or enjoy a hearty and satisfying meal, Funge is undoubtedly one of the foods you must try during your visit.
Angolan Food – Main Dishes
Farofa (Toasted Cassava Flour)
Farofa is a crunchy and delicious meal made of toasted cassava flour garnished with salt, garlic, and other spices. You can sample this dish alongside almost all Angolan soups.
It is originally from Brazil; Farofa has become a popular staple in Angola due to the infusion of Brazilian culture. Locals and visitors love this easy-to-prepare dish, and you can learn how to prepare it during your visit. Don’t miss out on the chance to try this delectable Angolan cuisine.
Arroz Com Feijão (Rice And Beans)
Arroz com Feijão is one of the well-known Angolan dishes often served as a main course. It is a simple but satisfying dish made with two staple ingredients; rice and beans. The carb heavy dish is often flavored with onions, garlic, and various spices.
It is a versatile dish you can pair with almost any Angola stew, making it a staple in many households. This delicious and super-filling dish is a great representation of Angola food culture, and it will help you immerse in the country’s traditions.
Angolan Food – Seafoods
Mufete (Grilled Cacusso Fish)
Mufete is a traditional dish in Angola, particularly in the coastal region. It is a grilled dish made with cacusso fish, a popular fish found in the Angolan waters. The fish is grilled over an open flame, giving it a smoky flavor, and served with various sides like Funge (a cornmeal-based dish), cassava, and rice.
While Mufete is a popular food in Angola, it is also enjoyed in neighboring countries like Namibia and South Africa. The dish has a rich history and cultural significance that the people are proud of.
Muamba de Peixe (Fish Stew)
This is a fish stew cooked in coconut milk. Muamba de Peixe is commonly made with a variety of fish, such as tilapia, catfish, or mackerel. The fish is usually cooked in a sauce made with onion, garlic, tomatoes, okra, and spices such as chili pepper and paprika.
Coconut milk is added to the sauce to give it a creamy texture and rich flavor. Muamba de Peixe is usually served with rice or Funge, an Angolan cornmeal porridge. It’s a flavorful and filling dish that you should have a taste of during your visit.
Camarão Grelhado (Grilled Prawns)
Fishes are not the only gem that comes from the surrounding ocean. Camarão Grelhado is a popular dish in Angolan cuisine originating from the country’s long coastline. These prawns are marinated in a flavorful blend of herbs, spices, and lemon juice, then grilled to perfection.
The result is juicy, succulent prawns with a slightly charred flavor that pairs perfectly with rice or salad. Whether you’re a fan of seafood or looking to try something new, Camarão Grelhado is a delicious and satisfying dish that will impress you.
Caranguejo is another one of the well-known seafood in Angola that is believed to have come from the coastal regions. If you are a seafood lover, take the chance to try this delicacy.
Crabs are usually boiled or grilled and served with a spicy sauce made with garlic, onions, and chili peppers. The meat is tender and flavorful, and the sauce adds a nice kick. Crab is a versatile ingredient; you can enjoy it in various forms, such as in stews and soups.
Angolan Food – Light Dishes, Snacks, And Street Food
Banana Asada (Grilled Banana)
In Angola, bananas and plantains are beloved staples that feature prominently in various dishes, from mains to sides to delectable snacks. These versatile fruits often substitute rice and potatoes in meals, providing a tasty and nutritious alternative.
One of the most tempting dishes made from bananas is the Banana Assada, which is sure to win you over with its natural sweetness and smoky grilled flavor. Adding honey elevates the dish to new heights, making it an unforgettable sugary experience.
Chikuanga (Cassava Bread)
Indulge your taste buds in the flavorful Chikuanga, a renowned bread made from cassava, a specialty food from the northeast region of Angola. The soft and malleable texture of the cassava flour is sure to tantalize your senses. The banana leaves used in the preparation add a distinct aroma and flavor.
Wrapping the cassava in banana leaves before boiling enhances its aroma and taste, making it a perfect accompaniment to Bagre Fumado and Mufete. Savor the delectable Chikuanga and immerse yourself in the culinary delights of Angola.
Pão de Milho (Corn Bread)
Pão de Milho is a staple food in Angola made from cornmeal, flour, sugar, and other ingredients. It is a popular bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is often served alongside meat dishes, soups, or stews.
The bread has a slightly sweet taste and a crumbly texture, with a golden-brown crust that gives it a satisfying crunch. It can be baked in various shapes, from individual muffins to a round loaf. Cornbread is easy to make and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It makes for a delicious and filling addition to any meal.
Catalos is a truly unique and intriguing recipe in the Angolan culinary scene. The main ingredient of this dish may surprise you – caterpillars. But don’t let that put you off. After being fried with garlic, these little creatures become a tasty and nutritious snack.
To make the dish even more flavorful, peppers, onions, and tomatoes are added. The caterpillars’ combination of crispiness and tenderness creates a satisfying texture. Typically served with rice, hot sauce, and Funge, Catalos is rich in protein and iron, making it a rather healthy meal option.
Caterpillars are commonly found in trees and fields; children and adults collect them. This dish is particularly popular in the Uige province in northwest Angola. Give it a try and see what all the fuss is about.
Angola Food – Soups
Moamba de Galinha (Chicken Stew)
Muamba de Galinha is a mouth-watering chicken stew that will satisfy your hunger. This dish is considered a national food of Angola and even made it to the CNN list of the world’s 50 best foods in 2011. It originated in Central Africa and is now a popular dish throughout Angola.
The key to its delicious taste is the slow cooking of chicken with squash, Okra, and Muamba de diadem (red palm oil sauce). It is often served with Funge, cassava flour cooked in boiling water, and occasionally with Gindungo, a hot chili pepper that adds a spicy kick.
With its rich flavor and hearty ingredients, Muamba de Galinha is a must-try soup for you during your visit to Angola.
Calulu (Dried Fish And Vegetable Soup)
Consider adding Calulu to your dinner plans when you visit Angola. This is a popular and beloved Angolan food that combines vegetables with fish or meat, commonly served with rice or cassava porridge (Funge).
The unique flavor of Okra adds a fascinating taste to the dish, complemented by the blend of potato leaves, onions, palm oil, and tomato. While Calulu originated in Brazilian cuisine, Angolans have adopted it as a daily meal and added their twist to the recipe.
Cachupa (Sausage Stew)
This nutritious and affordable meal was originally from Cape Verde, an island off the West African coast where Portuguese settlers grew American vegetables in the 15th century. The dish was later introduced to Angola and adapted to suit local tastes.
Cachupa consists of beans, meat, potatoes, bacon, sausage, cassava, and cabbage, with variations in ingredients between different versions. Despite its humble origins, Cachupa is now a beloved staple in Angola’s cuisine. You will be able to find this dish in restaurants around the country quite easily.
Kizaca (Cassava Leaves Stew)
Kizaca is Angolan cuisine with a blend of European and South African cuisine. It features cassava leaves and peanuts which are cooked to make a thick texture and enhance the flavor with tomatoes, onions, vinegar, and salt.
Be sure to try this irresistible stew, it can be served with meat or fish, and there’s also a variation known as Kizaca Com Peixe that includes fish and tomatoes. Spinach is also sometimes used as a substitute for cassava leaves.
Angola Food – Sweets, Desserts, And Pastries
Leite Azedo (Sour Milk)
Leite Azedo is a unique Angolan dessert originating from the Mucubal ethnic group in South Angola. It is made by fermenting cow’s milk in a hollowed-out gourd, resulting in a slightly sour taste. Angolans enjoy it as a dessert or as a complement to Funge.
However, it is not as commonly found in markets since locals mainly make it for personal consumption and use in households. Leite Azedo is also an essential ingredient in traditional Angolan dishes like Maine and Manhini and is often a favorite among tourists visiting the country.
Cocada Amarela (Coconut Custard)
Cocada Amarela is a traditional dessert from Angola made from coconut, sugar, and egg yolks. This sweet, creamy custard is typically served cold and garnished with cinnamon. It is a popular dessert for special occasions such as weddings and holidays.
The coconut gives the dish a tropical flavor, while the creamy texture of the custard is a delight for the palate. You should try Cocada Amarela if you like sweet and creamy desserts.
Pé-de-Moleque (Peanut and Caramel Candy)
Pé-de-Moleque is a popular sweet treat whose root is traced to São Paulo, Brazil, and is often enjoyed during festivals and celebrations. The candy originated in the colonial era when enslaved Africans mixed peanuts with sugar and created this delicious dessert.
It is prepared by roasting peanuts, mixing them with caramelized sugar, and then cutting the mixture into bite-sized pieces. This delightful combination of peanuts and caramel in Pé-de-Moleque is something you don’t want to miss.
Caakiri (Couscous Pudding)
Caakiri is an Angolan dessert made from couscous, milk, and sugar. It initially came from West Africa, where it is also known as Thiakry or Chakery. Caakiri is a creamy and sweet pudding with a slightly grainy texture.
This treat is often served during special occasions, such as festivals and celebrations. Almost a blend of grain and pudding, it has a rather unique taste and texture that is not commonly found in other desserts. The couscous is cooked with milk and sugar, flavored with vanilla and nutmeg, and then chilled before serving.
FLAVORS AROUND THE WORLD
Angola Food – Drinks
Kissangua (Corn Flour And Pineapple)
Kissangua has its roots in southern Angola, specifically among the Ovimbundu ethnic group. Although initially a craft drink, it has become industrially produced and exported to Europe.
Kissangua is created using corn flour, with some areas adding pineapple pulp, which is known as “Pineapple Kissangua.” It is a low-cost drink typically served at traditional social gatherings and is considered a symbol of Angolan culture.
Mazagran (Cold Coffee Drink)
Mazagran is a refreshing cold coffee drink that originated in Algeria during the 19th century. It was later introduced to France, gaining popularity and eventually spreading to other parts of the world, including Angola.
It is brewed and sweetened with sugar, then mixed with lemon juice and ice. The drink is typically served in a tall glass with ice cubes and a slice of lemon. If you’re visiting Angola, you should try Mazagran to experience a unique twist on traditional coffee.
Palm Wine is a traditional Angolan drink made from the sap of palm trees. The beverage’s origin goes way back to the ancient times of Angola, where it was used as a ceremonial drink during important events.
Palm sap is extracted from the tree’s flowers, collected in a container, and then left to ferment for a few days. When the taste might be acquired to some, this is certainly one of the authentic Angola experiences you can try.
Mukua (Pulp Of Baobab Fruit)
Mukul, a fruit from the baobab tree found in northern Angola, has a hard coconut-like shell. The seeds inside the fruit are coated with a whitish powder, while the fruit pulp is used to make juices, mousses, and cakes.
Due to its deliciousness, it is now exported worldwide. This fruit is rich in vitamins and calcium. It is believed to help reduce blood sugar, making it popular among those with diabetes. A sip of this drink will make you want more.
Discovering Traditional Food In Angola
Visiting Angola is an exciting adventure for any food lover. The country’s cuisine is a rich and diverse blend of African, Portuguese, and Brazilian traditions with unique flavors and ingredients. Whether you’re a fan of seafood, stews, or soups, there’s sure to be something on the menu that will tantalize your taste buds.
Traditional Angolan food is steeped in history and culture, reflecting the country’s diverse cultural and natural heritage, from the use of bold spices and herbs to communal dining traditions, which create a sense of community and togetherness among the people.
As you discover the Angolan foods, you’ll also get to find out some facts about Angola and its lovely people. It will be a delicious and memorable adventure you won’t forget.