Moambe chicken
Poulet à la moambe served with rice (left) and saka saka (right)
Region or stateCentral Africa
Main ingredientsChicken
Ingredients generally usedTomatoes, garlic, chili powder/peppers, lemon, red palm oil, squash or pumpkin, stock, okra

Moambe chicken (French: poulet à la moambe or simply poulet moambe, Portuguese: moamba de galinha) is a savory chicken dish popular in Central Africa and considered the national dish of Angola. The dish itself is made by combining chicken, spices and palm butter to create a stew-like consistency. A number of local or regional variations exist across the Congo and Central Africa; the dish is also known outside the continent.


Poulet moambe (French for "chicken in palm butter sauce")[1] is prepared by cooking chicken in moambe (palm butter) and spinach,[2] then seasoned with spices like peri-peri or red pepper. It is typically served with sweet potatoes, brown onions, hard-boiled eggs and a sauce made from crushed palm nuts.[3][4] Moambe chicken can also be accompanied by rice or manioc (cassava) paste.[5][6] The chicken can be substituted with duck or fish.[4][7]


Moambe chicken is regarded as the national dish of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[8] It is also considered the national dish of Gabon where it is known as poulet nyembwe, and in Angola where it is known as moamba de galinha,[5] although the Angolan dish is "purely Brazilian" in origin.[9] It is a common household dish in Belgium.[10] Angolan moamba chicken can be found in Portugal.[11][12]


  1. ^ Jeanne Jacob; Michael Ashkenazi (15 January 2014). The World Cookbook: The Greatest Recipes from Around the Globe, 2nd Edition [4 Volumes]: The Greatest Recipes from Around the Globe. ABC-CLIO. p. 473. ISBN 978-1-61069-469-8.
  2. ^ Bob Swain; Paula Snyder (1991). Through Africa: The Overlanders' Guide. Bradt Publications. p. 73. ISBN 978-0-946983-65-0.
  3. ^ The Belgian Congo Today. 1952. p. 522.
  4. ^ a b Ken Albala (2011). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-313-37626-9.
  5. ^ a b Hobbs, Jane-Anne (12 July 2017). "15 of Africa's favorite dishes". CNN Travel.
  6. ^ William LeMaire (8 January 2014). Crosscultural Doctoring: On and Off the Beaten Path. BookCountry. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4630-0341-8.
  7. ^ Nelson Doubleday; C. Earl Cooley (1979). Encyclopedia of World Travel. Doubleday. p. 359. ISBN 978-0-385-14669-2.
  8. ^ Lucy M. Long (17 July 2015). Ethnic American Food Today: A Cultural Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-4422-2731-6.
  9. ^ Alan Davidson (2002). The Penguin Companion to Food. Penguin Books. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-14-200163-9.
  10. ^ Diana Miryong Natermann (2018). Pursuing Whiteness in the Colonies: Private Memories from the Congo Freestate and German East Africa (1884-1914). Waxmann Verlag. p. 185. ISBN 978-3-8309-8690-4.
  11. ^ Darwin Porter (1970). Frommer's Portugal. Macmillan USA. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-471-77124-1.
  12. ^ "Angola in Lisbon: Taste". Culinary Backstreets. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 12 Mar 2023.