A Guide to Angolan Food, Background and Culture

All you need to know about Angola. I’ll cover its climate, its people, language and religion. Not forgetting Angolan food and culture (media and literature) as well as holidays and festivities. 

Angolan Food, Background and Culture

Where is Angola exactly?

  • Angola is actually officially known as The Republic of Angola and is situated in South-Central Africa
  • It has Namibia, Congo, Zambia and the Atlantic ocean as its neighbours
  • It is the 7th largest country in Africa
  • The capital is the city of Luanda
  • The official language is Portuguese (other spoken languages are Kikongo, Kimbundu and Umbundu)
  • The main religion is Christianity (Catholicism)

What is the national dish?

The national dish of Angola is considered to be either chicken muamba, a dish made with red palm oil, spices, tomatoes, sometimes peanut butter; served with rice, or funge which is what I gather, a mash made from the root cassava (actually made with cassava flour + water), which is eaten with fish, chicken or pork stews and is very common in most households.

Angolan cuisine has influences from – 

  • Portugal
  • Brazil
  • Italy

What would I eat for breakfast?

  • Funge is popular throughout the day (imagine it like a porridge)
  • Fruit such as pineapple, banana, mango
  • Coffee is popular as it is in most places!
  • Bread made from fuba flour
  • Eggs
  • Tea

What would I eat for lunch?

  • Research has shown that traditional Angolan food is pretty much the same for both lunch and dinner

What would I eat for dinner?

Chicken Muamba
My take on Angola’s national dish, chicken muamba

  • The national dish, chicken muamba (see my take on the dish in the image above)
  • Again, funge (cassava) would be served with most meals
  • Sweet potato, rice, corn and beans are also popular side dishes
  • Okra is a popular vegetable
  • Being situated on the coast, shrimp and lobster are popular, such as these delicious grilled shrimps from 196Flavours
  • Grilled chicken in a peri peri sauce (see the Portuguese influence.. i’m thinking Nandos haha)
  • Calulu which is a dried fish or meat cooked with tomatoes, okra and onion
  • Goat stew (mainly on special occasions)
  • Cabidela – a dish cooked in blood (usually chicken)
  • Bugs are normal to be eaten in Angola such as caterpillars and grasshoppers
  • Tilapia is a popular fish
  • Vegetable are not as easy to find as side dishes in restaurants (usually beans, chips etc)

What would I eat after dinner? 

Peanut Cake
Bolo de Ginguba, a popular peanut sponge cake in Angola. I added caramel buttercream to mine!

  • Fresh fruit salads
  • Cocada Amarela, a dessert made from coconut and egg yolks
  • Muka, fruit dried from the baobab tree
  • Peanut candy
  • A peanut sponge cake known as Bolo de Ginguba (see my take above)
  • Homemade spirits are popular such as capatica, made from bananas and maluva made from palm tree juice
  • Homemade vodka (kapuka) and homemade whiskey (whiskey kota)
  • Kissangua is a popular alcoholic drink made from cornflour, believed to have healing rituals
  • Soft drinks such as cola, sprite, fanta and mirinda are popular
  • Mongozo is a beer speciality of Lundas and is made from palm nuts

Angolan eating culture and traditions

  • A goat is traditionally served up on special occasions, usually with a bean sauce
  • Food is extremely costly in Angola with most living on the breadline


Wake Up and Eat Global

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Next week I’ll be posting recipes from Anguillan cuisine and how to eat like an Anguillan! Subscribe so you don’t miss out.


How to eat like an Angolan

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