This lightly-spiced coconut porridge recipe makes for an exciting alternative to oats for breakfast! Inspired by Angola’s Cocada Amerla, shredded coconut is combined with egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest to make a sweet, spicy pudding.
Country Number 5: Angola
After a positive experience making Algerian stuffed crepes (mahjouba) from the first African country on our list, we were ready to tackle our next African cuisine- Angolan.
As we are learning, many African nations have an evident European influence on their cuisine due to the extensive history of colonization. In Angola, it was the Portuguese that colonized and therefore have had a lasting impact of the country’s gastronomy.
Popular Vegetarian Dishes in Angola
Of all the cuisines we researched and cooked from this week, Angola came out as one of the least vegetarian-friendly. Whilst there are very few dishes that do not feature meat, fish or insects (yes, you read that right), the national dish, Kizaca, is actually a vegetarian one.
- Kizaca– boiled cassava leaves mixed with ground peanuts, stewed to develop a thick, nutty sauce
- Funge– Plain mashed cassava, commonly served on the side of dishes
- Feijão de óleo de palma– Stewed beans in a sauce made from palm oil
- Doce de ginguba– candy similar to peanut brittle
- Cocada amarela– A pudding made from grated coconut, egg yolks, sugar and cinnamon
Vegetarian rating of Angolan Cuisine:
Making Angolan Coconut Porridge (Cocada Amerla)
From the limited list of vegetarian-friendly Angolan dishes, the Cocada Amerla sounded the most up our alley. This simple pudding requires just a few basic ingredients, which makes it an easy-to-whip up dessert, or a great breakfast option if you want to make it more like a porridge.
Whilst buying pre-shredded coconut would have saved a lot of time (and a few battle wounds, my fingers are still recovering from the cuts), we opted for buying whole mature coconut, hacking it open, scooping out the coconut meat and shredding it in a food processor. The fresh coconut really did make a difference in adding a lot of texture and coconutty taste to the dish.
What you’ll need to make Coconut Porridge
This recipe requires so few ingredients, most of which you probably already have!
- Fresh produce– one whole mature coconut, although you can obviously substitute for a packet of shredded coconut!
- Pantry items– eggs, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, that’s it! Typically, Cocada Amerla is made as a dessert with white sugar. As we were making a healthier breakfast version, we swapped this for half the amount of coconut sugar! You can use either.
Steps to make Coconut Porridge
- Make a syrup on the stove with sugar + spices
- Take off heat, add half of the syrup to beaten eggs, then add this mixture and shredded coconut back in the pan
- Continue to simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture thickens!
Serving Suggestions for Cocada Amerla
Cocada Amerla is traditionally served in Angola as a dessert by itself. However, as we decided to make this into more of a breakfast dish, we topped our coconut porridge up with almond butter, poached pears and coconut yogurt. Obviously, this isn’t traditional by any means, but it was super delicious!
Angolan Spiced Coconut Porridge (Cocada Amerla)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 whole cloves
- Cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp cinnamon (ground)
- If using whole coconut, cut open and grate up pieces.
- In a saucepan, combine coconut sugar, water, cloves, orange zest and cinnamon stick and bring to boil. Constantly stir until sugar is dissolved, then boil for a few more minutes.
- Reduce heat, remove cloves and cinnamon stick and add shredded coconut. Simmer for 10 minutes, constantly stirring.
- Meanwhile, beat egg yolks till thickened. Pour out a small amount of syrup from the saucepan into eggs and mix, then pour egg mixture back into the saucepan.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes, until coconut porridge has thickened. Serve up warm in bowls, sprinkling with cinnamon and whatever toppings your heart desires!
Did you make this recipe? We’d love to know! Tell us how it went in the comments below or tag us (@gourmetvegetarians) in your photos on Instagram.
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