Fish Calulu: Angola’s National Fish Dish By Nourishing Africa

Image Credit: Taste Atlas


Fish Calulu is a popular Angolan dish that typically contains fish (fresh and dried), onions,  spinach, or other locally sourced leafy green vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, palm oil, and zucchinis.


 Fish Calulu has Brazilian heritage. Originally called ‘caruru’, the dish started in the New World among the slave population, but it eventually made its way to Angola aboard Portuguese ships. Between the 1500s-1800s, the Portuguese consistently brought Angolans in order to supply their labour needs in their new colony. Along with the slaves came elements of their culture which have deeply influenced Brazilian culture, even to this day. Slaves aboard Portuguese ships returning to Angola for more supplies and slaves introduced the stew to the people in Angola. Particularly because of its typical Angolan ingredients, fish calulu or calulu de peixe, was a natural fit for the Angolan people and quickly became a national staple.


The Oily fish in this dish is a good source of vitamins A and D and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the health benefits include increased protection against Cardiovascular disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, dementia, mouth and skin cancers, and vision and memory loss for older people. It is also recommended for pregnant women.