Madagascar is a spice island. The following recipes use ginger, garlic, and hot pepper.

Sakamalao Sy Akoho/Malagasy Ginger Chicken

Submitted by Liliane C. Koziol Ph.D.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

2 tablespoons of oil
1/2 cup to 1 cup of thinly sliced ginger (or to taste)
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts about 11/4 Ib
1 14 1/2 oz can of chicken broth
1 package of frozen peas.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Put some of the sliced ginger in the oil and brown. Add in seasoned chicken with salt. Heat until browned about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces, reduce the heat and cook about 5 minutes more. Do not overcook. Reduce the heat to medium low. Pour the remaining sliced ginger over the chicken. Add the chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken). When everything comes to a boil, add -frozen peas. Let all cook until the juice is almost totally reduced.
Serve with steamed white rice and Lasary***



All Malagasy food is accompanied by lasary, which is a fresh tomato salsa. For this one, flavor it with garlic.

Garlic Lasary Voatabia:
Dice tomatoes up to 2 cups. Slice some shallots. Add salt and garlic (fresh about 1/4 of teaspoon).

Hot Red Pepper Lasary Voatabia:
Hot Red Pepper, tomatoes
Yield: about 1 cup

Malagasy Chai/ Spiced Tea




Chai is an Indian- style tea that's also popular in East Africa. It is a spiced tea made by boiling the milk and sugar together. What makes Malagasy chai different from others is the addition of local vanilla.


600ml cold water
600ml milk
4 tsp black tea
seeds from 6 cardamom pods
pinch of ground ginger
2 cloves
¼ vanilla pod

Combine all the ingredients together in a small pan and add sugar to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a few minutes. Pour through a strainer into a teapot and serve.


AKOHO SY VOANIO (chicken in coconut milk)



whole chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
juice of one lemon (optional)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (optional)
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
enough oil for frying (coconut oil if possible)
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced)
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

In a glass dish, marinate the chicken in the lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, and pepper for about an hour. Heat oil in dutch oven or any large covered pot. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chicken and continue to cook and stir until the chicken is nearly done. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and ginger and stir for a few minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer over low heat until chicken is fully cooked and sauce is thickened. Stir often. Serve over rice.


VARENGA (browned shredded beef)



2 lb. boneless chuck steak, cut in small pieces water
2 level tablespoons salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 onion, sliced

Place beef in a 3-pint saucepan; cover with water; add salt, garlic and onion. Cover; bring to the boil and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat can be shredded with a fork. Add more water if necessary during the cooking period.
When the meat is tender, shred mixture and transfer to a 7 by 11-inch baking dish; roast in a moderately hot oven (400 degrees F) for 1/2 hour, or until meat is browned. Serves 6.


SAKAY (hot sauce condiment)



100g hot chillies pounded to a paste
1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp oil

Place all the ingredients in a pestle and mortar or a food processor and render to a paste.


VOATAVO SY VOANJO (Pumpkin Stew with Peanuts)


3 tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
200ml chopped, tinned, tomatoes
150g peanuts, chopped
750g pumpkin, chopped
500ml water
3 garlic cloves, grated
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 spring onion, sliced thinly
2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and fry for 3 minutes then stir in the tomatoes. Cook until they break down to make a thick sauce (about 10 minutes) then add the peanuts, pumpkin and the water. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and cover the pan.

Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Reduce the heat and mash the mixture with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in the garlic, spring onions and coriander then allow to simmer gently for a further 4 minutes.

Serve hot, on a bed of rice.