Picture the best mixture between Indian and Portuguese food. Now spice it up with a bit of Arab influence. And finally, pick only the most fresh and biological ingredients you can find (mostly sea food and vegetables). There you go, that is what you’ll find the best Mozambique dishes.
By having over 3000 kms of Indian Ocean cost-line, Mozambican gastronomy mixes flavors and smells of spices from Goa in India, Portugal and Arab World, transforming the art of cooking into a feast of sensations and perfumes.
In the best mozambique dishes you may find goan flavors
The Indian and Goan influence was important in the daily eating habits in Mozambican, such as chamussas, chacuti, achár, piri-piri (the chilli pepper, as we call it here).
Matapa with xima, chicken à cafreal, national prawns, Zambezian chicken.
Xima is a very thin and white cornmeal to which water is added to transform it into a kind of white polenta that will accompany “wet” dishes like matapa. In this, cassava leaves are used, resulting in a stew permeated by the scent of coconut, aromas of spices and peanut texture. Cabbage leaves are cut thin and joined to the shrimp, always with the addition of coconut milk, to result in one of the dishes that I most appreciate: macofo, also known as macouve.
Everything from the cassava is used: the leaves are used for the mapata, the pulp for the xiguinha (stew made with peanuts and chicken) and the local industries now bet on the cassava beer produced here. The use of cassava is very significant in the popular Mozambican diet due to its low cost and good nutritional value, and it is consumed cooked or even raw.
Mozambique dishes usually display a fusion of aromas, by Portuguese and Oriental influences. The scent of curry, pepper in snacks, the famous samosas or Chamussas (typical Indian snack stuffed in a triangle shape), rissois or rissoles give us the certainty of this mixture of peoples, acceptance, peaceful coexistence between the gastronomies of each corner.
And then there is the simple roasted chicken: the one here is simply to eat on your knees, because it is prepared with a lot of lemon juice, sometimes coconut milk and / or piri-piri, resulting in a crunchy, aromatic, tender and simple “roasted chicken” .
Here you will find Mfura, palm oil (almost a palm), which can be used even in the preparation of beans, added with coconut and coriander as well as in stews and seafood…
Among the best Mozambique dishes, the stews are very popular. They are known as “curry” (cooked with curry-based spices), which can be chicken, fish, leaves and represent a national preference, logically accompanied by xima, white rice or french fries.
Very common as well are the chestnuts and local peanuts, either as appetizers or in the desserts made with them.
Let’s not forget about fruits. The most delicious mangos you can find you will find in Mozambique. Huge and tasteful Avocados, juicy litchies, and so many other fruits, some of them unique such as Banana Maca, a small banana shape fruit that tastes a bit like apples.
There is a wide variety to chose from in Mozambique when it comes to food. But the best part is to appreciate the freshness of the vegetables and sea food, and the multiple flavors of the spices.
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