Angolan Feijoada, and Other Tasty Things

The meal was fantastic, but I’m afraid this is going to be a sad little post, mostly due to lack of photographic evidence…it was a crazy night, so something had to give…

A few days before, I had invited some good friends over to join us in our culinary exploration of Angola (the same intrepid souls that were at my Georgian feast). But as the dining hour drew near, a few neighbors came over to visit and then some other friends called and of course got invited…so all of the sudden we had ourselves a party. Fortunately, there was more than enough food for everyone. We toasted all of the fun with plenty of Vinho Verde and some nice red wines from South Africa.

Angolan Feijoada

Adapted from a recipe at Celtnet Recipes

Distinctly different than the Brazilian dish, but very worthwhile. Great comfort food, and flavors that should make just about everyone happy.  The hardest ingredient for some people to find might be the red palm oil. It adds depth (and authentic flavor) to the dish, but you can move forward without it.

One note: use whatever hot pepper you prefer. I actually used jalapenos in this, which aren’t as potent as the listed piri-piris. It’s personal taste, so go with what you like.

And I know it’s a sin to foodies, but I err towards convenience. I use canned beans. If you want to go the more traditional route (dried beans), just check out the original recipe


  • 2 cans 15 oz/_425g cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5lbs/700g chicken pieces
  • 14 oz/400g chorizo  sausage, cut into rings
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock, plus extra for sauteing
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
  • 6 piri-piri chillies (or 2 habaneros) finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 5 oz/150ml red palm oil, with a little more for cooking the chicken
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Heat up some palm oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven. Saute the chicken pieces until golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, chill and garlic to the pan and saute until soft.
  3. Return the chicken to the pot and add the sausage. Saute for 2 minutes more, adding a little chicken broth if needed.
  4. Add the tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and bay leaf, along with the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Turn to a very low heat, adjust seasonings as needed and allow to cook for up to 30 minutes more.
  6. Add parsley and palm oil. Serve with rice.

Arroz Verde

Adapted from a recipe at Celtnet


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup medium grain white rice
  • 1 large onion,
  • minced 1 medium green bell pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves,
  • 4 tbsp  chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 2/3 cup chicken stock (or water)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep pan, add the rice and stir to make sure every grain is coated.
  2. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper  and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the rice is done.
  4. Add cilantro and serve

Corn and Rice Bread

I know corn bread, and I can safely say this is the best version I’ve ever made; it’s going to be at the top of my list from now on. I used extra virgin coconut oil, which has a light coconut flavor and scent; if that’s not what you’re looking for, use refined coconut oil or another oil of your choice.

Adapted from a recipe at Celtnet


  • 14 ounces ground white cornmeal (400 g)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces cooked rice (200 g)
  • 12 1/4 ounces whole milk (360 ml)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil ( extra virgin if you can get it)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190°C)
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs then mix in the palm oil, milk and rice.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
  5. Pour the mixture into a well-oiled baking pan, place in pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Take out of the oven, allow to cool a little then tip from the tin and allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Angolan Corn and Rice Bread
(image by Todd Farmer)

As I mentioned before, the night kind of got away from me, so what was supposed to be the starter became dessert, and what was planned for dessert never got made at all…

Papaya with Port Wine

Adapted from a recipe at Celtnet


  • 2 very ripe papaya, de-seeded and sliced
  • Port wine
  • 2 limes, quartered


  1. Fan out the papaya pieces on a plate
  2. Sprinkle with port wine
  3. Arrange the lime wedges on the plate and serve

The dessert didn’t get made that night, but will be at some point…

Cocada Amarela

Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuściński – the book for Angola

Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuściński.

For Angola, I picked a book written by a Polish journalist about the early days of a civil war that started in the 70’s (and ended in 2002)…a bit far from my stated goals of local voices and not focusing on conflict and violence…

I’m not sure I’ve read a more human account of the chaos that is war. No heroics, no propaganda, not even any serious attempt at breaking your heart or making you angry. Just emptiness and confusion and humor and sometimes utter disbelief at the impending train wreck which everyone saw coming, but were powerless to stop.

There were moments when you could feel the intensity of grabbing every ounce of life that was available, because god only knows what was coming next…

We still have a movie theatre, only one in fact, but it is panoramic and in the open air and, to top it off, free. The theatre lies in the northern part of town, near the front. The owner fled to Lisbon but the projectionist remained behind, and so did a print of the famous porno film Emmanuelle. The projectionist shows it uninterrupted, over and over, gratis, free for everyone, and the crowds of kids rush in, and soldiers who have got away from the front, and there’s always a full house, a crush, and an uproar and indescribable bellowing. To enhance the effect, the projectionist stops the action at the hottest moments. The girl is naked — stop. He has her in the airplane — stop. She has her by the river — stop. The old man has her — stop. The boxer has her — stop. If he has her in an absurd position — laughter and bravos from the audience. If he has her in a position of exaggerated sophistication, the audience falls silent and analyzes. There is so much merriment and hubbub that it is hard to hear the distant, heavy echoes of artillery on the nearby front…

I walked away feeling like I got a glimpse into Angola – and at the very least learned about the specifics of this particular conflict. It’s way too easy to sit from a comfortable (and American) distance and let the hostilities that have bedeviled some African nations over the last half century all blend together. Each war is different; each country has lost a tremendous amount of…everything…

And I will be reading everything this guy ever wrote.

Luanda – the capital city of Angola
(By Erik Cleves Kristensen (Luanda from the fort) via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #10: Angola

Country #10 is Angola. This will be my second stop in Africa, and the second former-Portugese colony. It will be interesting to see if the food is similar…