I don’t really want to demotivate anyone, but if you’re a vegan traveling in Mozambique you’re going to have a hard time.
As you know they have a famous cuisine and are one of the best countries in Africa foodwise, but is all about tiger prawns, seafood, fresh fish and, chicken.
I traveled from north to south only by public transports and thought lots of rural areas, where there isn’t any infrastructures, restaurants, cafes, food stall or surprisedly not even many street markets. So you are asking the same question I did, where and what to eat?
If you are in a rural area, you need to rely on the local people and what they can do for you, but communication can be a big problem, because if they don’t speak Portuguese (what is possible and probable) they will speak one of the 43 languages spoken in the country (yes you read well 43..)
If you are in place that has a “restaurant” you will do all your meals there and again, struggling with communication, try to explain what you can eat and understand what they have. Maputo is the exception, has good options, and its easy to find your way around.
Mozambique was colonized by Portugal in 1505, their cuisine has been deeply influenced by the Portuguese. One of the most eaten dishes is ncima a thick porridge made with ground maize and water, in my opinion just serves the propose of giving you energy.. it’s tasteless, but vegan 🙂
Here is a list of some vegan dishes that I came across:
- Mucapata– rice with coconut, absolutely delicious, very common in Mozambique island.
- Xiguinha – Made with cassava and cacana leaves, common in Inhambane province.
- Pão – white bread rolls, you can find it in any market baked in wood-fired ovens in villages.
- Matapa – made from stewed cassava leaves, ground peanuts, garlic and coconut milk, more likely to get it if you end up staying with locals.
- Collard Greens in Oil – it’s a sauté of onions and collard greens.
- Chamusas – triangle shaped pastries, asked for the potato ones.
- Cassava with Red Sauce – sauce made with fresh tomatoes, green peppers, onions, garlic and oil
- Rice and Beans – its a very common dish.
- Mucuane – with boiled cassava leaves, tomatoes, coconut milk, ask if is made with shrimp or Cashews.
- Quiabo a Zambiana – Okra
- fresh sugarcane juice
- pão de sura – it’s a coconut sweet bread more typical in the Inhambane province
- Cashews – they have nut trees growing all over the place. You’ll see people selling bags of cashews on the side of the road and on the beach. they sell while plain, roasted piri-piri, roasted salt.
- Fruits and vegetables– fruit and veggies are available at markets and on the sides of roads all over the country, depending on the season you can find good papayas, coconuts, mangoes. Avocados okra and collard greens are also seasonal, avocados only in season for a few short weeks. Others, like tomatoes, cassava or beans, are available year-round. Green peppers, onions, and bananas seem to go through recurring phases.
photography – all rights reserved – Ana Rocha
🚌 If you are planning to visit Mozambique, or if you are just curious.. check the post about my trip – Mozambique.. it’s maningue nice