Angola is a country in South West Africa. It has a long coastline along the Atlantic, which provides lots of sea food. It was a Portuguese colony from the 16th to 19th centuries, which massively influenced its cuisine.
Mr. Eaternational and I had a debate about whether we should make the most representative dish of the country (no matter how much we might think we’ll dislike it) or be more choosy and pick something we know we’ll enjoy. For Angola, we settled on the latter, as the main dish in poorer households is something called Funge and looks like wallpaper paste. The meals we’ve chosen are still very much traditional, but I suppose from more wealthy households, or meals eaten on special occasions.
The dish I did want to make was Moamba de galinha which is probably considered the national dish of Angola, served with funge. It’s a chicken dish made with palm paste and spices. However, being a tad disorganised and leaving this until the last minute, I couldn’t find palm paste or palm oil anywhere locally. I’d still like to try this at some point as palm oil is meant to have a very ‘love it or hate it’ taste and I’ve never used it before.
Taking influence from the ocean, I settled on a prawn dish called Camarões Grelhados which are king prawns, brushed with spring onion, garlic, salt and white wine vinegar and then grilled or barbequed. We attempted to skewer then and cook them in the fire; the one we tried was amazing but it would have taken too long so we pan fried them in the end (http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-camaroes-grelhados). I served the prawns with Arroz de Coco e Papaia: rice cooked with coconut, papaya and cinnamon (http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-arroz-coco-papaia). The flavour combinations in the rice was lovely – a really interesting mix of cinnamon and fruit. I’ve never actually had a fresh papaya and have discovered a fruit that I love!
For pudding, we had a dish called cocada amarela. I took the recipe from this website http://www.marga.org/food/int/angola/cocada.html. It’s grated coconut, mixed into sugar syrup with cloves and then mixed with egg yolks and sprinkled with cinnamon. I’d say the texture is like rice pudding. Interesting but probably not something I’d make again.