"Romazava, the "other" national dish" Top 5 Page for this destination Madagascar Restaurant Tip by Norali
Madagascar Restaurants: 30 reviews and 47 photos
Although I use to consider ravitoto as our national dish, Romazava is largely considered as our national dish. It is served all over the island with small variations... So far, I can only recommend a restaurant that serves it well as my dinings out use(d) to be to taste foreign cuisines.
Romazava is sometimes called "Romazava créole", it is found in the cuisine of créole island of La Réunion, for instance. Still, it hails from Madagascar. "Ro" means "stock" and "Mazava" means "clear" & seems they use is Malagasy name in La Réunion too. Now, the name does not tell much about the richness of this dish.
It is a stock dish obtained from the cooking of 4 zébu meats (knee, the rear back, tail, ribs) with several anana. Anana are leaves that are largely used in our cuisine: are included anamamy (spinach type, also called "brèdes morelles" in French), watercress, different Chinese cabbages, green onions... and not to forget, anamalaho (also called "brèdes mafana" in French).
The cooking technique resembles the pot-au-feu's. First cook the meats (the most hard pieces first) in order to retrieve a zébu stock and evenly cooked meat pieces. Then add the condiments (ginger, onions) to the meats in order to sear them together and mix their tastes. Then, add the anana (the leaves) and the zébu stock. Cook at low heat for 45 minutes. The trick is to leave some room for the anana to deliver their flavour and it will mix with the zébu flavour. Salt.
Served with hot rice...
Favorite Dish: ... To Waistline watchers ! The advantage of cooking the meats the eve is to let the stock pause and to retrieve the fat when the latter has solidified at the surface. The rich taste without the thick grease.
To curious ones ! It is this anamalaho (esp. its flowers) that gives the sought-after "hot" taste. Not the same effect as with chili, rather the one that gives a very light "numb-lips" effect. It is almost indispensable to have it for a good romazava !
**Just be aware that some may confuse "ro mazava" with "romazava". "Ro mazava", also called "ro matsatso" ("insipid stock") is a light stock with only few leaves, without any meat loaf neither meat stock. Commonly used to just dampen the rice whenever the meal is too dry. Now, in restaurants, ro mazava (ro matsatso) uses to accompany rich dish and is not served as a dish per se.**
Twice I had the chance to try romazava outside, the first was at a real tourist trap (not listing its name since even a bad advertizing is an advertizing!!). The second was at a good restaurant although I prefer the zébu romazava we use to have home. Will add names of other (tried) restaurants that serve good romazava, gradually...
- The mix romazava (w/ zébu meat, chicken meat and prawns) is not bad at all at Le Relais de la Haute Ville (in Tana).
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