International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Muamba de Galinha

Bowl of muamba de galinha

(Angolan spicy chicken and vegetables)

Image by Adriao

Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Muamba de galinha is a spicy Angolan chicken dish, flavored with the fruit of a West African palm tree (dendém) and studded with pumpkin and okra. You can find canned palm soup base in many African markets, but a tasty chicken muamba can be made without it if you aren't able to find it locally or online.

Muamba de galinha is considered by some to be Angola's national dish.

4 to 6 servings


  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 3 to 4 pounds
  • Red chili peppers, seeded and finely chopped -- 2 or 3
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 cloves
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Red palm oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Onions, chopped -- 2
  • Tomatoes, crushed -- 2 cups
  • Pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and diced -- 1 pound
  • Okra, cut into rounds -- 1/2 pound
  • Palm soup base (optional, see variations) -- 1 1/2 cups


  1. Add the chicken, chile peppers, garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Wipe the marinade from the chicken, reserving the marinade. Heat the palm oil in a large pot and brown the chicken on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Add the onions to the oil and saute until wilted and translucent. Add the reserved marinade and tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the reserved chicken, pumpkin, okra and palm soup base and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve with cassava funge (see fufu recipe variations) or rice.

Muamba de Galinha Variations

  • Palm Soup Base, Moambé Sauce, or Sauce Graine: 1 pound palm fruit. Cook in water to cover 5 minutes, drain and remove the seeds and skin. Add to 3 cups warm water and mash. Simmer over low heat until reduced and thickened.
  • The Angolan chile pepper, or gindungo, is bright red and packs a spicy punch. Substitute Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers and vary the amount to match your tolerance for heat.
  • If you don't have palm oil you can substitute olive oil.
  • Add some peeled, diced eggplant if you like.


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