Madagascar formally known as Malagasy Republic is situated off the coast of Southeast Africa in the Indian Ocean and is an Island country and the fourth largest in the world. The nation encompasses the Island of Madagascar and quite a few smaller outlying islands. Some 88 million years ago Madagascar split from the Indian peninsula after the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana this has allowed indigenous animals and plants to evolve in virtual isolation and this has made Madagascar a biodiversity hotspot. Around 90% of the wildlife can be found no where else on the planet. The impingement of the quickly increasing population and other ecological threats on the island the wildlife are endangered.
The first evidence of humans scavenging on Madagascar was around 2000 BC and humans settling (Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo) was dated aground 350 BC and AD 550 and around AD 1000 by refugees crossing the Mozambique Channel from East Africa. As time moved on other groups of people began to settle on the Island and each group had a significant influences on cultural life.
Around 90% of people on Madagascar live on less than 2 dollars per day and quality of life is low for the majority. Malagasy and French are both spoken on the island and are the official languages. The capital is Antananarivo
The food of Madagascar initially can look quite boring, possibly due to the huge amount of rice that is consumed and the amount that is eaten in one sitting which overpowers the small portion of meat, vegetables and sauce. The food incorporates many varied traditions and foods eaten reproduce the influence of European, Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian and African immigrants that have settled on Madagascar since it was first inhabited by travellers from Borneo between 100 CE and 500 CE
Tonights dinner is a simple dish which allegedly is a favourite Christmas meal in Madagascar. I have gone wth it because of its simplicity as it is only Monday evening… The recipe is here
The chicken pieces are seasoned with salt and pepper.
The recipe asks for zest of a lemon, but I forgot to get one so used lime instead added to grated ginger and mixed with crushed garlic. I also added a little oil as I felt it needed it to help the ginger and garlic spread and coat the chicken pieces. I left to marinate all afternoon
When happy with the colour of the chicken, remove from the pan and sauté the peppers and onions, return the chicken to the pan and cook at a simmer for around 45 minutes until chicken pieces are cooked through. I cooked with a lid on which helped to create a love jus to spoon on the top.
As rice is a main feature I have opted for Rice with leafy vegetables The local meaning is “Vary amin’anana” and leafy vegetables are different edible green leaves such as coriander, spinach etc. I have opted for a variety of mixed herbs – tarragon, basil, rosemary, parsley and coriander. All chopped and mixed together and the aroma was gorgeous…
Added to a pan of seasoned water and the rice, the rice took on the faint colour of the leaves used.
The finished dish was plated up and I didn’t over face the family with rice..
Family Verdict: Although quite tasty it wasn’t one of their favourite dinners. We couldn’t taste the ginger and garlic much at all. However, the rice was nice and the herbs gave it a lovely flavour