Madagascar is famous for the diversity it offers when it comes to presenting a whole lot of lip-smacking dishes. Rice, their staple food dominates most of their dishes, while a lot of impetus is also laid upon a variety of vegetables as well as seafood and meat. Most of their foods are often flavored with sauces of onion, tomato, garlic, and ginger to give it a spicy taste. Let us check out the list of top Madagascar cuisines.
1. Romazava – A Traditional Meat Stew with Leafy Greens
What is it: Madagascar’s national dish, comprising of a meat stew (pork, chicken or beef) teamed with green vegetables, onions and an array of spices. It is mostly eaten at lunch and dinner, served with or over rice.
What does it taste like: Spicy and peppery because of the addition of mustard greens and watercress along with ginger and chilies.
2. Lasary – A Typical Vegetarian Dish
What is it: A tasty vegetable dish comprising of carrots, green beans, cabbage, and onions, seasoned with a mild amount of vinaigrette. However, in the cities, the definition of lasary is different, indicating a condiment of pickled lemons and mangoes.
What does it taste like: The addition of vinaigrette gives this nutritious dish a sour taste.
3. Foza sy hena-kisoa – A Famous Seafood Platter of Madagascar
What is it: An incredible fusion of stir-fried pork, crab, and lobster, further seasoned with ginger and lime juice. It is mostly eaten with rice, just like most other Malagasy cuisines.
What does it taste like: The presence of lobster and crab gives it a chewy and soft texture respectively while lime and ginger add to its sweet and spicy flavor.
4. Mofo gasy – A Popular Breakfast Food of Madagascar
What is it: Also known as Malagasy bread, it is a pancake prepared by deep frying a dough made of flour, water, yeast, sugar, and cream of rice. Maple syrup, juice and fruits serve as accompaniments.
What does it taste like: Mildly sweet, crispy from outside and chewy within.
5. Malagasy Style Fried Rice – Madagascar’s Staple Food
What is it: A unique fusion made by frying rice, their staple food, along with a whole lot of vegetables like carrots, capsicum, sweet corn, bok choy, and spring onions. Slices of meat, eggs, and shrimps are also used.
What does it taste like: A plethora of vegetables included in its preparation gives it a rich and spicy flavor.
6. Koba – A Traditional Dessert of Madagascar
What is it: A traditional sweet of this island nation of Africa, it primarily comprises of mashed bananas, vanilla beans, and ground peanuts, alongside corn flour and honey. The batter is wrapped in banana leaves and boiled or steamed. Its popularity all over Madagascar is such that you may spot every gas station or marketplace selling this delicacy by the name of koba akondro.
What does it taste like: A sweet sensation indeed mainly due to the presence of vanilla and bananas, while the crunchy texture of peanuts adds to its unique flavor.
7. Mofo-anana – A Perfect Appetizing Snack
What is it: Bread with leafy greens, mofo, and anana meaning bread and leafy greens respectively in the local language. The greens are cooked well, added to a batter of bread and then deep fried to prepare fritters. A hot sauce of chili, garlic, and ginger is eaten along.
What does it taste like: Soft, crunchy, spicy and crispy, that would melt in your mouth at the very first bite you take.
8. Akoho sy voania – Malagasy Christmas Food
What is it: A stew made by blending chicken and coconut, mainly served over rice.
What does it taste like: The rich flavor of chicken and sweetness of coconut makes it a splendid dish altogether.
9. Nem- Crispy Finger Food of Madagascar
What is it: Crunchy, deep fried spring rolls filled with beef, leek potato, cabbage, and onions. Hot, tangy sauces serve as perfect sides to accompany this savory snack.
What does it taste like: The crispiness in every bite would transcend you to a different level altogether.
10. Voanjobory sy hena-kisoa – A Popular Festival Food
What is it: Though the name might seem like jargon to you, it is a simple dish of chopped pork and Bambara groundnuts, served over a platter of rice like most of the typical Malagasy dishes. A bowl of salad and chili paste often serve as a side dish. Initially, it was eaten at the time of the royal festivals of Madagascar, though at present it has found its place in many restaurants throughout the country.
What does it taste like: The richness of pork combined with the nutty and earthy flavor of groundnuts would satisfy your taste buds to the fullest.
11. Ranovola – Madagascar’s Special Burnt Rice Drink
What is it: A staple drink of Madagascar, prepared by placing a cup of cooked rice in a pot and heating it on a medium flame till it attains a toasty smell. Water is added, and then the decoction is first steeped then cooled and finally strained into a glass. Ice cubes might be added though it is optional.
What does it taste like: Refreshing, cool and nutritious, apt for a country like Madagascar where water shortage is at its peak.
12. Sambusa – Authentic Snacks of Madagascar
What is it: Similar to the Indian samosa, it is a triangle-shaped fried savory stuffed with fillings of ground beef and potatoes. However, it is not as spicy as the Indian variant and vendors are often seeing carrying a hot pepper jar, in case one desires to have it a little hot.
What does it taste like: Spicy and crispy, with the flavor differing by the spices and herbs added.
These innovative and versatile dishes of Madagascar are eventually finding its way all over the world. The next time when you plan your visit to this African country, keep some of these items mentioned above on your bucket list to satisfy the gourmet in you.