Food to eat while in Mozambique

by Tertia Hutton

Due to its wonderful location, Pambele Beach House is able to offer some of the best local Mozambique cuisine – particularly a wide range of the freshest seafood prepared in a typical Portuguese way.

One of Mozambique’s best known dishes is prawns, done peri-peri style, served with either rice or chips. Peri-peri means “spicy-spicy” due to the use of spices such as chilli.  Pambele makes a tasty prawn Nacional dish with added clams and fish – Cataplana style! Our crab samosas and stuffed crab, are said to be the best in Vilanculos.  All seafood you’ll eat is delicious, but prawns are definitely the highlight.  Seafood forms a large part of the locals’ diet which means that fish and seafood are plentiful and caught fresh daily.

Paõ (pronounced pow) is a delicious homemade Portuguese bread and can be enjoyed with dinner (jantar) to soak up some of the spicy sauces. Or enjoy a roadside prego roll: a steak covered in peri-peri sauce in a paõ. Traditional ethnic food is rich and varied. You’ll find peri-peri chicken all over Mozambique or deliciously grilled with palm oil. 

The staple food of Mozambique is a maize porridge as many of Mozambique’s inhabitants today are still very poor.  Meat, fish, chicken or vegetable stew are often accompanied by beans, cassava chips, cashew nuts, coconut, batata (potatoes), and a variety of spices, including garlic and peppers (a Portuguese influence). Dinner at Pambele Beach House normally consists of 3 courses and starts with light canapés served at either the Dhow bar or out on the terrace watching the setting sun. 

If you are a local, breakfast (pequeno almoço) is usually a light meal such as an egg sandwich, maize porridge and tea or coffee. The main meal of the day is normally lunch (almoço) at midday. Guests at Pambele can start there day off with fresh fruit and cereals followed by a hot dish either local or traditional. For lunch guests will enjoy a buffet style lunch on the deck at Pambele and will normally include one hot dish such as fried calamari, hot wraps or freshly prepared cheese tarts. However, if you are out and about exploring for the day, the chefs are happy to prepare a scrumptious picnic lunch. 

Delicious tropical fruit grows everywhere in Mozambique. Papaya and pineapples are known here as some of the juiciest in the world. Puddings are often made of fruits and rice, and fried balls of flour paste (similar to doughnuts). One of the chef’s specialties is homemade cream cheese ice-cream with a berry coulis  - simply delicious!  Mozambique was once the world’s largest producer of cashews. We do a heavenly Orange and Date Yoghurt Cashew Crumble using locally sourced cashews.  While plain cashews are great, the roasted peri-peri ones are even more tasty!

After a perfect day on the beach there’s nothing like an ice cold Mozambican beer, 2M or Laurentina, or a glass of Portugese wine called Madeira, to end the day. Our Dhow bar is also stocked with household beverages, softdrinks, juices, wines and spirits. And not forgetting to mention some island-style cocktails!

FInd out more about a typical day’s meals at Pambele here:

Try this yummy recipe to make your own Malasadas at home. 

Malasadas (Doughnuts)


1 package yeast
⅓ cup and 1⅓ cups warm water
1 teaspoon and ⅓ cup sugar
2 pounds flour
1 teaspoon salt
1⅓ cup cream
⅓ cup butter, melted
8 eggs, beaten
Oil, for frying

Dissolve the yeast in the ⅓ cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar; stir. Let stand until foamy (several minutes).
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in the cream and water.
Beat the 8 eggs in separate bowl.
Add the beaten eggs and melted butter in with the rest of the ingredients to the flour mixture.
Add the dissolved yeast mixture and stir well to form a soft dough.
Cover and put in a warm place. Let stand until double in size, about 1½ hours.
Drop by spoonfuls into deep, hot oil and fry until light brown.
Remove, using a slotted spoon, and drain on a rack with paper towels.
Coat with sugar, if desired.
Makes 5 dozen small doughnuts. ENJOY!

Latest Posts

Pambele on Twitter