5 unusual foods from Madagascar

Food in Madagascar is a gently spiced fusion of African, European and Asian culinary traditions creating a national cuisine unlike any other.

Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava

Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava

Here are 5 Malagasy dishes you’re unlikely to find beyond its beautiful shores.

Romazava

This is the national dish of Madagascar – a kind of stew made from zebu (beef), and sometimes pork. The meat is sautéed with ginger, garlic, tomato and onion and then left to simmer until ready to serve. It is usually served with a vary (rice) dish and sakay (a hot red pepper sauce). Check out our recipe for Royal Romazava, served at Constance Tsarabanjina.

Lasopy

This is a rich vegetable soup flavoured with veal bones. The bones are taken out before serving and the soup pureed and served in thick earthenware bowls.

Varenga

This delicious meat dish is made from slowly boiling beef with garlic and onion until it can be easily shredded and then roasted.

Vary amid ‘anana

A lightly spiced rice and vegetable dish in which the rice is cooked at the same time as a variety of vegetables, it may also sometimes include meat or fish. Again the Madagascans like to eat this with sakay pepper sauce.

Salady Voankazo

This is a popular dessert in Madagascar taking advantage of any fruit which happens to be in season including bananas, mangos, pineapples as well as strawberries and lychees. The fruit is cut up and served with a sweet syrup and vanilla extract.

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Recipe: Maldives chapatti and banana puri

The chapatti is from the same family as the rotis, the famous Indian breads eaten on every street corner of the subcontinent. These loaves emerged in the sixteenth century in Indian and their recipe has hardly changed since.

Constance Halavel's chapatti & banana puri recipe

Constance Halavel’s chapatti & banana puri recipe

This recipe from Constance Halaveli, is a modernised version of the original classic.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Chapatti:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 pinch of salt

1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt, and using a wooden spatula, stir it while adding the olive oil and hot water. You will get a soft elastic dough, but not sticky.

2. On a lightly-floured worktop, knead the dough until it is smooth and fluffy.

3. Divide it into 10 equal portions, or fewer if you want larger loaves. Roll them into balls and let them rest for a few minutes.

Banana puri:

  • 30g flour
  • 30g salt
  • 20g pepper
  • 40g ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 60ml milk
  • Ghee vegetable butter plant: to taste

1. Make a firm but pliable dough and cover it with a damp cloth for 30 minutes.

2. Knead the dough gently. it should be firm enough to be able to spread without sticking.

3. Divide it into small balls and cover them with a damp cloth.

4. take a ball of dough, dip at an angle in a mixture of Ghee and oil and spread it into a round 13cm diameter shape. Do the same with the rest of the puris.

Finishing and presentation

The chapattis:

Heat a griddle and lightly grease it. Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls. They must be quite thin, like tortillas. When the griddle starts to smoke, add the chapatti and cook for about 30 seconds to produce a brown colour. Turn it over and cook it in the same way. Continue with the rest of the dough.

Banana puris:

Heat a wok filled with oil to 200˚C. Dip the puris in the oil. Using a slotted spoon, and while shaking them, make the puris rise by covering them with hot oil. This operation lasts only a few seconds. Turn the puris over and continue cooking then so that they go a nice golden brown colour.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

White aromatic wine:

  • Alsace Pinot blanc, “Mise de Printemps”, Josmeyer, 2009 France
  • Stellenbosch Neethlingshof, Gewürztraminer, 2010 South Africa.

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Recipe: Lemongrass prawns

It’s not difficult to succumb to these large lemongrass prawns, juicy, highly desired and fragrant as they are. Created in the kitchens at Constance Ephélia, the idea occurred to our chef while travelling in Thailand.

He loved the famous Tom Yam Kung, but the broth was too powerful for the European palate, and the texture of the seafood was not highlighted enough. This personal and tasty version is enjoyed by alternating a mouthful of prawns with a sip of broth.

Constance Ephélia's lemongrass prawns

Constance Ephélia’s lemongrass prawns

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The seafood:

  • 12 black tiger prawns (size U 10)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tomato
  • 200g lemongrass
  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • Olive oil: as required
  • Salt/pepper

1. Shell the prawn tails keeping the heads for the shellfish broth. Store it.

2. Put the heads together with the orange that has been cut in half into a saucepan along with the tomato. Cover it with water and cook for 25 minutes on a low heat.

3. Sieve this broth through a cheesecloth strainer to remove the impurities.

4. Wash and slice the lemon. Peel and finely cut the ginger root. Let them steep for 5 minutes with a kaffir leaf in the shellfish consommé. Strain the consommé and keep it warm.

The garnish:

  • 1 red pepper (capsicum)
  • 100g mange-tout peas
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 white turnip
  • 1 red chilli pepper

1. Take the stalks off the mange-tout peas. Wash and chop them finely lengthways. Store them.

2. Peel the carrots then wash and cut them with a mandolin cutter into thin 3mm-thick slices, then into julienne slices. Put them in a bowl with iced water.

3. Follow the same procedure for the turnip.

4. Cut the red capsicum pepper in half and remove the seeds. Using a food processor, remove the skin and chop it finely. Store it.

5. Wash the red chilli pepper and cut it finely.

6. Drain all the vegetables and put them together in a bowl. Mix them well. Add some red pepper and serve separately in small bowls. Add a drizzle of olive oil.

Finishing and presentation

Whichever is more convenient for you, grill or pan-fry the prawns.

Serve the lemongrass tea in a teapot, and the bowls of crispy salad vegetables separately.

Sommelier’s suggested wine

Dry white wine:

  • Pernand-Vergelesses, 1er Cru “Sous-Frétilles”, Deux Montille, 2008 France
  • Chablis 1er Cru “Vaucoupin”, Corinne et Jean-Pierre Grossot, 2008 France.

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Guide to kids cooking classes at Constance Halaveli

At Constance Halaveli we want to share our passion for food made with fresh sumptuous ingredients.

Cooking classes at the Jing Restaurant

Cooking classes at the Jing Restaurant

Growing research has proved that children who are involved in making their food tend to be less fussy eaters and to eat more healthily. A fun kids cookery class can be a great introduction to eating healthily for life.

Our new children’s cookery classes are based on this philosophy, and will be led by one of our world-class chefs.

Taking place in the professional kitchen at Jing Restaurant, your kids will get the chance to create a range of delicious treats in a number of classes including Sushi (to share with mum and dad), vegetable lollipops, a pasta meal, fruit skewers in a fluffy fruit sauce and chocolate lollipops.

Classes are an hour long and usually start at 11am and they can be booked through one of our Guest Relations team. Further information and pre-booking can be made before your holiday with Guest Relations but should be confirmed on arrival.

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Constance’s Valentine’s Day cocktails

Celebrating the international day of romance, why not wow your loved one with these delicious Valentine’s Day cocktails?

Valentine's Day cocktails

Valentine’s Day cocktails

Cocktail 1: Mauritian Romance

Ingredients:

  • 4cl Pink Pigeon Vanilla Rum
  • 2cl Amareto liqueur
  • 4cl Fresh orange juice
  • 3cl Fresh pineapple juice.

Garnish:

1. Decorate with a slice of cherry orange.

Cocktail 2: The Ladies Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 40ml Vodka
  • 20ml Vanilla liqueur
  • 30ml Orange juice
  • A dash of lemon juice
  • A dash of pomegranate sirup.

Garnish:

The Ladies & Gentlemen cocktails

The Ladies & Gentlemen cocktails

1. Shake well.

2. Add a dash of agave sirup on the bottom of the glass

3. Garnish the inside of the glass with a loop of lemon puree

4. Decorate with an orange flower.

Cocktail 3: The Gentlemen Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 40ml Gin
  • 30ml Aperol
  • 100ml Pink grapefruit juice.

Garnish:

1. Shake well

2. Add ice cubes

3. Decorate with slices of heart shaped apple and watermelon, and a dash of Double Heart Red.

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Cocktail recipe: Apple Pie Amore

Getting you in the mood for romance, here’s the first cocktail recipe that we’ll publishing as part of Valentine’s Day – the Apple Pie Amore from Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius.

Cocktail recipe - Apple Pie Amore

Cocktail recipe – Apple Pie Amore

Ingredients

  • 8cl Vodka
  • 6cl Apple juice
  • 3cl Fresh lime juice
  • 4cl Cinnamon syrup
  • 2cl Vanilla syrup

Method 1: Martini glass

1. Collect your serving glass & place on your shaker to chill

2. Prepare an apple wings garnish

3. Remove glass and carefully measure all the ingredients into the shaker, fill it with ice.

4. Seal together & shake hard for 10 seconds

5. Break the seal & dip taste to make sure the taste is balanced – adjust if necessary

6. Gently fine strain into your Martini glass

7. Add the garnish & serve.

Method 2: Lima Old Fashioned glass

Prepare in exactly the same way, this time using a pinch of cinnamon as the garnish.

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