Madagascar

Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa opposite Mozambique.  It is the fourth largest island in the world.
A stunning diversity of plant and animal species evolved after the island broke away from the African continent millions of years ago.  Over 90% of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth.  From 1999 to 2010, scientists discovered 615 new species in Madagascar, including 41 mammals and 61 reptiles.  To help secure the future of lemurs, WWF and Malagasy conservationists are working together to establish and manage parks and protected areas in Madagascar.  Through the WWF you can adopt a ring tailed lemur for $25 – $100.

In 2012, the population of Madagascar was approximately 22 million people, 90% of them live on less than $2 per day.
Madagascar produces about two-thirds of the world’s vanilla. The vanilla bean (or pod) is the only edible fruit-bearing orchid. Each flower opens only one day a year and must be hand-pollinated to produce a pod, which is very labor intensive.

Recipes I came across include Saosisy sy Tsaramaso (beans & sausage) , Ro-mangazafy (beef broth) Ron-akoho (chicken and ginger broth).  I opted to cook the popular Mofo Gasy (Malagasy bread), which is actually more like a pancake.
Rating: 9/10

Makes 15
Prep time: 10 mins + 2-4 hours resting for batter
Cook time: 10 mins

1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp ground rice
1/2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1.5 tsp condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Vegetable oil

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, ground rice, yeast, 1 tsp sugar and water.
Mix well, cover the bowl and set aside to rise for 2-4 hours.
Stir in the remaining sugar, condensed milk and vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
Cover and set aside until the mixture gets frothy, about 30~45 minutes.
Heat an aebleskiver pan on medium heat.
Put 1/4 tsp oil and pour about 1 tbsp batter in each well.
Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the bottoms get golden brown.
Using chopsticks, flip them over and cook on the other side until golden and the inside is cooked through.
Serve hot for breakfast.

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