Muamba de Galinha
(Angolan spicy chicken and vegetables)
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
- Add the chicken, chile peppers, garlic, salt and pepper to a large bowl and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- 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.
- Add the onions to the oil and saute until wilted and translucent. Add the reserved marinade and tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.