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National Prawns (from Mozambique)

24 prawns or shrimp


1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

3-5 whole dried red chile peppers, crushed

4 cloves garlic, crushed

5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 stick butter

2 cloves garlic, whole or chopped

3 whole dried red chile peppers, crushed

1 bay leaf

5 teaspoons lemon juice

Peel and devein prawns or shrimp. Make a paste with the remaining ingredients. Press the paste into the cut along the back of each shrimp and close. Sprinkle any remaining paste over the shrimp and marinate for 2-3 hours. Grill the shrimp, basting continuously with the marinade, until shrimp is pink and curled. (Alternatively, the shrimp can be shallow-fried.) Serve with garlic sauce.

To make the garlic sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan, add garlic, red peppers or cayenne, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the lemon juice, and mix well. Serves 4.

From 'Cooking the Portuguese Way in South Africa,' by South African food writer Mimi Jardim

Chicken Muamba (from Angola)

1 large chicken, cut into small pieces

Whole dried red chile pepper, crushed, or cayenne pepper, to taste

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 pieces okra, sliced in half-inch rounds

2 onions, sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tomatoes, chopped coarsely

3 tablespoons palm oil (available at Portuguese markets and some specialty food stores), or substitute vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

2-3 medium-size eggplants, sliced

Put the chicken in a pot, rub with mixture of red pepper, garlic, salt, and lemon juice; let sit for two hours until the meat sweats. Meanwhile, soak the okra for about an hour until the water becomes slimy. Saute the sliced onions in the olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook until pastelike. Add the chicken, palm oil, okra water, and bay leaf, and simmer until almost cooked. Add the okra and eggplant and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add more cayenne pepper, salt, or palm oil to taste.

Serve with funge (African-style porridge):

1 cup white cornmeal (if unavailable, use yellow)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the cornmeal with just enough cold water to form a paste. Add cornmeal paste to about 10 cups of salted boiling water. Whisk, reduce heat, and simmer for about one hour. Serves 4.

Adapted from recipe by South African chef Luis Pena

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