Week 49. Madagascar. Akoho misy sakamalao & Sakay

Next week I will be cooking my 5oth dish in this journey. Honestly I’m pretty impressed with myself. I had no idea if I would stick to it, but it has consumed me. I look forward to the next dish, the research, the new ingredients and new blends of ingredients I already know. I like the thought that I might hate some of the dishes (Vanuatu) or love them (Sri Lanka). I enjoy ticking off new countries or adding new (South Sudan). It will take a long time to do this but when I finish it will I be the only person in the history of the world to have done this? Maybe.

Back to this week.

It’s firework night in the UK and my mouth is conducting fireworks of its own. My tongue is burning, my nose is running, even my teeth hurt a bit and it has little to do with the mountain of chilli in this dish. I’m burning with garlic overload. If I wasn’t married and wanted to nip out tonight and try and secure the lips of a young lady I wouldn’t have a hope. I stink.

I’ve eaten 8 cloves of garlic in one dish and whilst delicious it’s just not practical if you have to see people within a week. Dishes from Madagascar are characterized by powerful flavours and once I had peeled and squashed the garlic I then blitzed a few chilies for the sauce…..30 chilies. Oh, and then just to continue with the theme I chopped a piece of ginger about the length of my arm.

As you can see from the picture (which I took about 20 minutes trying to style and look even the slightest bit interesting) this is not the most beautiful of dishes. It looks bland. It isn’t!

According to all the facts I looked at Madagascar is the 4th largest island in the world after Greenland, Borneo and New Guinea. What about Australia you scream at me. I thought the same. Australia, despite technically being an island, is actually a continent and that supersedes island status. I wonder if Australia would be happy being classed as the smallest of all continents rather than the beast of all islands?

I was tempted to cook a dish called Mo-Fo just because of how that would translate into the street language of today but instead if chose a different Mo-fo..ing dish.

Based off the East Coast of the African continent, Madagascar has a blend of colonial history which influences cuisine, but typically meat and rice are eaten for main dishes when available.

I chose Akoho misy sakama as it was simple and could be made from readily available ingredients.

To make the chicken (this covered 4 pieces) I poured approximately 6 tbsp of vegetable oil into a bowl and then added 6 cloves of chopped garlic and two inches of grated ginger. Adding a tbsp of salt I then just rubbed all the chicken in this marinade and set apart for a couple of hours.

I baked the chicken which took about 40 minutes and whilst they were heating I made the Sakay. All you need to do is blitz about 30 chillies with 3 tbsp of oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 tbsp of ginger powder, 2 tbsp and 1 tsp of sugar. You will make far more than you need but I bottled the rest and will use over the next few weeks on different dishes. It is brutally strong so use in minute moderation. I stirred some through rice and used the rest as a dipping sauce.

Overall this dish is powerful but delicious. Do be aware you won’t be able to speak to anyone close up for a few days after though.


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