Madagascar Dinner

It was a rainy weeknight, and everyone in my house had a bumpy day. I was looking for something comforting, and this simple meal from Madagascar fit the bill perfectly.

I’m learning so much on my journey with this blog, but one of the most basic lessons is that comfort food transcends any cultural or geographical divide…good is good, no matter where you are.

The culinary landscape in Madagascar seems pretty amazing. A world onto itself – Southeast Asian, African, Indian, Chinese and European influences have come together in a very distinct way. These will certainly not be the only Malagasy dishes I make.


Great flavor, and even better leftovers. A common dish in the northwest coastal region of the country, particularly the city of Mahajanga. The area has a large Indian population, and that influence can definitely be seen in this recipe; it’s a less-spiced and slightly more “stewy” version of Keema.

Adapted from a recipe on the Cuisine of Madagascar channel on Youtube. Lots of fantastic recipes!

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1lb minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes – drained
  • 1 red chili pepper ( I went on the mild side and used a Hungarian Wax pepper)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 large baking potatoes, quartered
  • 1 lemon (or lime)
  • 1 French baguette


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven
  2. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent
  3. Add pepper and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes start to break down
  4. Add the minced beef and spices.
  5.  Crumble in the beef bouillon cube and cook meat for a few minutes
  6. Stir in the water and bring to a simmer
  7. Add the spices and potatoes. Cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  8. Serve with lemon slices, and the bread.

NOTE: I had some extra lemon juice left over (about a tablespoon) from the recipe below. I tossed that into the stew before serving…I highly recommend it! Lemons and limes seem to be interchangeable in this;  I’ve seen both used in the recipes I researched.

(image by The Global Reader)

Salady Voankazo

Adapted from a recipe at

Serves 8


  • 1 cup pineapple, fresh but in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup cantaloupe, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup orange, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberry
  • 1/2 cup lychees
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Combine the sugar, water, salt and lemon juice in a saucepan
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Boil hard for one minute and then remove from heat
  4. Stir in vanilla extract
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for 60 minutes
  6. Combine the fruit in a serving bowl, arranging the lychees on top.
  7. Pour the chilled syrup over the fruit and serve

NOTE: I went the total lazy route and bought a container of already chopped fresh fruit – and obviously not quite the mix listed above. I did add an orange! Also, I had no lychees on hand, so I moved on without them. Still very tasty.
I did find that the flavor of the vanilla extract was  a little too strong. I’m going to make this syrup with an actual vanilla bean next time…

Salady Voankazo
(image by The Global Reader)

3 thoughts on “Madagascar Dinner

  1. Steve November 1, 2012 / 9:37 pm

    Looks great. I would not have figured the vanilla. I’ll keep that in mind!

  2. sybaritica November 1, 2012 / 9:41 pm

    All of that looks terrific!! Thanks for sharing!

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