Recipe for Romazava – Madagascar’s National Dish

Constance Tsarabanjina
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dive into Madagascar’s soul with Romazava, their flavourful national dish.

This hearty stew simmers zebu (humped cattle) and fresh greens in a savoury tomato broth. Expect a delightful tingle from a unique local ingredient, and don’t forget the steamy rice to soak up every delicious drop!

Steeped in history, Romazava is believed to have originated with the island’s early settlers, the Malayo-Indonesians. Over time, the dish evolved to incorporate local ingredients and cooking techniques, becoming a beloved symbol of Malagasy cuisine. Today, it’s a staple enjoyed in homes and restaurants across the country, bringing people together over a taste of Madagascar’s rich heritage.

At Constance Tsarabanjina, its preparation is similar to a ritual, and no one is supposed to distract the chef when he is getting it ready. A dish for sharing and generosity, to be enjoyed with friends.

Ingredients for Romazava (Serves 4)

The meat:

  • 300g pork loin
  • 300g stewing beef
  • Black pepper: as required
  • 10g garlic puree
  • 20g ginger puree
  • 10g flour
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • Peanut oil
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • Salt/pepper

How to prepare Romazava

1. trim the pork loin and cut it into cubes and brown it with a little oil. Add the garlic and ginger purees.

2. Let it sweat for another 5 minutes, then pour half a litre of water over it and cook it covered for 45 minutes.

3. In a casserole, bring the seasoned sautéed beef back to the heat. add the tomato concentrate and coat the meat. Let it all cook for 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle it with flour and cover it with water. Stir the fresh tomato chopped into pieces, the bouquet garni and the black pepper. Cover and cook it for 2 hours, preferably on a real fire with glowing embers.

The garnish:

  • 300g white rice
  • 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 banana tree leaf
  • Salt

1. Cook the rice. Chop the tomatoes and season them with salt and coriander.

How to best enjoy Madagascar’s Romazava

Savour Madagascar’s national treasure, Romazava, like a pro! Pair the succulent zebu stew with fluffy rice, soaking up the rich tomato broth. Embrace the heat with a sprinkle of “Sakay,” the fiery Malagasy chili sauce, for an extra kick. Don’t miss the “anana,” a side dish of chopped vegetables, for a refreshing crunch and a symphony of flavours on your plate!

Finishing and presentation of Romazava

Cut the banana tree leaf into a square and place the different meats on top. serve the rice and tomatoes separately. For a more traditional result, serve everything in a stew-crock or cast iron pot.

Sommelier’s suggested wine to accompany Romazava

Light and fruity red wine:

  • Upper Hemel En aarde, Newton Johnson. “D”, Pinot Noir, 2009 South Africa
  • Côtes du Marmandais Elian Da Ros, “Le vin est une fè¬te”, 2009 France

Interested in discovering more from the rich Malagasy cuisine? Check out our article on 5 typical Madagascar dishes!

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