must-try local foods

Mozambique’s culinary scene is teeming with diversity, thanks to its wealth of agricultural resources and abundant seafood. The influence of Portuguese and Arab culinary traditions is prevalent, contributing to the rich tapestry of flavors. The sheer multitude of delicious offerings defies any attempt to compile a comprehensive list.


Xima (pronounced Shima) is a versatile and filling food that provides sustenance and energy. It is a fundamental part of the diet of Mozambicans and is valued for its ability to serve as a neutral base that pairs well with a wide variety of flavorful dishes. Another traditional African maize porridge dish,  Xima is similar to South African pap or sadza in Zimbabwe, often served with sauces or stews.


Mozambican piri-piri, also known as peri-peri, is a popular and spicy chili sauce or marinade that is widely used in Mozambican cuisine. The term “piri-piri” is derived from the Swahili word for “pepper-pepper,” which reflects the fiery heat of this sauce. It has gained popularity well beyond Mozambique and is enjoyed as a spicy condiment in many parts of the world, often used to add a kick to grilled or roasted dishes.

pao (fresh bread)

In Mozambique, pão is not just a source of nourishment; it’s also an essential part of daily life, culture, and cuisine. Whether enjoyed as a simple snack or used to create more elaborate dishes, bread is a symbol of comfort and sustenance in Mozambican households. It can be enjoyed on its own, with butter or spreads, as an accompaniment to soups and stews, or used to create sandwiches with a variety of fillings.


Feijoada is a hearty and flavorful bean stew that is considered one of the national dishes of Mozambique, but it is also popular in several other Portuguese-speaking countries. Feijoada is more than just a meal; it’s a cultural institution. It is often associated with social gatherings, celebrations, and festivities and is especially popular during family gatherings.

galinha asada

Galinha asada is flame-grilled chicken usually marinated in piri-piri. “Flame-grilled Galinha Assada” refers to a specific preparation method for roast chicken (Galinha Assada), where the chicken is cooked over an open flame or on a grill instead of being roasted in an oven. This cooking technique imparts a unique flavor to the chicken, characterized by the smokiness and charred marks from the open flame.


Matapa is a traditional and popular dish in Mozambique, often considered another one of the country’s national dishes.  It is often served at festive occasions, family gatherings, and special events. The combination of cassava leaves, coconut milk, and ground peanuts creates a unique and satisfying flavor profile that is a source of pride for Mozambicans.

mango atchar

Mango atchar is cherished for its ability to preserve the flavor of mangoes long after their season has ended. It is a staple in many African households, and recipes are often passed down through generations. Mango atchar not only enhances the taste of a meal but also adds a touch of nostalgia and tradition to the dining experience.


Mozambican prawns are a renowned and delectable seafood delicacy associated with Mozambique. They are highly sought after for their exceptional size, succulent texture, and rich flavor and are a testament to the country’s diverse and flavorful cuisine, reflecting the influence of Portuguese and African culinary traditions. They are a culinary treasure and a must-try delicacy for seafood enthusiasts.