Here’s food à la Mandritsara.
As long as you’re a fan of cooking, aren’t afraid of a rotten egg, and are relatively inventive, meals in Madagascar are straightforward to make. The traditional diet is kilos and kilos of rice, cassava leaves (manioc) and the odd bit of meat. The street food is great-fried bananas feature heavily (marvellous) and fried rice flour doughnuts are really popular. We’re pretty fortunate where we are to be able to get loads of fresh fruit and veg, though it is entirely seasonal-avocados, cucumbers and botsebotse (what would happen if pumpkins and marrows had babies) are in, gone are bananas, sweet potatoes and lychees. Sob.
There’s nothing pre-packaged or processed in any way (well, bar chocolate and jam THANKFULLY) if you want it-you make it. And most things are do-able with a bit of effort.
Peanuts are easy to come by, roast them in the oven and skin them in a basket thing…
And the same goes for bread, doughnuts, cakes, yoghurt, cheese, ice cream, preserved lemons, pickled onions, harissa, curries, even Calippos(sort of). One of the midwives even managed to make a Christmas pudding!
The main culinary triumph so far has been the acquisition of the relevant skill/inclination to make garlic naan bread-not going to lie, I was pretty overjoyed with myself for that one. Meals are, thankfully, a huge part of life here, so we’re doing a lot of baking/cooking which suits us just fine.
Delia had better watch her back…