5 typical dishes from the flavourful Malagasy cuisine

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Food in Madagascar is a gently spiced fusion of different culinary traditions creating a national cuisine unlike no other. The Malagasy cuisine reflects the country’s cultural diversity by blending the influences from the Arabic, Chinese, French, African and Indian cultures present in Madagascar.

A traditional meal in Madagascar usually contains one main dish of meat, poultry, or fish with a side dish of vegetables, and rice. Malagasy cuisine is known for being quite flavourful despite being prepared in a simple manner without much spice. Typical basic ingredients include onions, tomatoes, garlic, and ginger.

Is your mouth watering already? If so, continue reading below to find out about the top 5 Malagasy dishes you can enjoy along the beautiful shores of Madagascar.

Romazava – Madagascar’s national dish

Romazava is the over-the-top national dish of Madagascar. It is 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.

Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava
Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava


Lasopy – a Malagasy vegetable soup

Lasopy is a rich vegetable soup flavoured with veal bones. The bones are taken out before serving and the soup together with the vegetables is pureed and served in thick earthenware bowls. Lasopy is generally served as a starter and is definitely one of Madagascar’s star dishes you shouldn’t miss. The stock of the Lasopy soup is also often used to boil the rice that is the base of nearly all the Malagasy cuisine.


Varenga – a traditional Malagasy meat dish

Varenga is a delicious, traditional Madagascar meat dish. It is made with a combination of beef, salt, garlic, and sliced white onion. The dish is slowly simmered until the meat becomes tender and starts to fall apart. The beef is then shredded and roasted until crispy and browned. Varenga is usually served with white rice and hot sauce on the side.


Vary Amin ‘anana – Malagasy style breakfast

Vary Amin Anana (“rice with greens”) is a savoury rice porridge, where the rice and various vegetables are cooked together. It is usually made with a combination of onions, ginger, tomatoes, oil, water, rice and leafy greens such as kale. It may also sometimes include meat or fish. The ingredients simmer until tender and the water is almost entirely absorbed. Vary Amin Anana is traditionally consumed as part of the Malagasy breakfast. Again, the Madagascans like to eat this with sakay pepper sauce.


Salady Voankazo – Madagascar’s famous fruit salad

Salady Voankazo is a delicious, refreshing fruit salad and one of the most popular desserts in Madagascar. It takes 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 gracefully flavoured with a sweet syrup and vanilla, an ingredient that the country is famous for.

So now that you know everything about the most popular food in Madagascar, make sure you try each and every one of these tasteful Malagasy dishes on your trip to this fascinating country.

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