Recipe: Dipping sauce with Chippies (Tsabola) (w/ poll)

Today's fun recipe is a 5 minute African salsa.  You'll need two accessories to make this snack completely Malawi, however: blue pastic bags and your most favorite potato wedges. Here's how it works: simply chop up onions, tomatoes, hot peri peri peppers (I used Thai bird chilies). Mix it all around with loads of salt. While I normally go light on the salt, you need to use a heavy hand when making Tsabola ... as Brittany (Be-ing Brittany), a Community Health Advisor in Malawi, tells … [Read more...]

Recipe: Sunrise Biscuits (Mbatata)

Valentine's Day is for lazy mornings. For PJ's all day. Breakfast in bed with your favorite cup of tea. Sunny smiles. And then there's real life. Husbands go to work. Your cat uses your favorite chair as a scratching post. And, over the course of 45 seconds, your child has the following conversation with you, in regards to said cat: "I want to sit there" "It's my turn to play with that toy" "He poked me with his paw" "Wahhhhhhhhh" The main difference between this and having … [Read more...]

Menu: Malawi


When I looked at the calendar and realized Malawi week at the Global Table led right up to Valentine's Day, I thought how ironic. Surely Malawi's only exposure, if any, to Valentine's Day comes from tourists and international volunteers. I'll never be able to find any food to fit this romantic season we're in. Boy, was I wrong.  A quick peek online showed me that, in fact, many Malawians do know and think about Valentine's Day. This video exploring the topic made me smile. So get ready … [Read more...]

About the food of Malawi

Lake Malawi. Photo by Steve Evans.

Malawi undulates and ambles along eastern Africa - a collection of soft rolling hills and glistening lake waters, dotted with thatched villages, dusty courtyards, and a healthy array of vivid, green trees. The land is striking and, yet, completely new to me. When it comes to mealtime, I was immediately intrigued by the street food. First, there's grilled mice, boiled goat liver, banana fritters (zitumbuwa) and chippies. The first two I witnessed in travel videos. I read about chippies on … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Madagascar


THE SCENE I click through my email, waiting for the smoke. The burning. Before long, I'm elbows deep in an email from a woman who just started reading our blog. She asks "Do you ever not like the food of a particular country? Do you ever get tired of cooking food from other places?" I sit back, thinking... not because I don't know the answer, but to mull over - to savor - the hundreds of dishes we've eaten over the last two years (I started this blog in February 2010). So many wonderful … [Read more...]

Recipe: Madagascar Chicken (Akoho sy Sakamalao)

There are times when I need a little bit of sunshine. A smattering of happy. A bouquet of deliciousness. Today I found exactly what I was looking for in this Malagasy chicken. One of the most unusual things about the food of Madagascar is how much it pulls from different traditions. In today's chicken dish, we see traces of mainland Africa, Asia and Polynesia. The coconut oil gives the chicken just a hint of Polynesian tradition, while the garlic, and ginger play into Asian flavors. Finally, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Vanilla Bean n’ Tropical Fruit (w/ poll)

Vanilla beans might as well be jewels. The insides are full of teeny, tiny black caviar - the likes of which I can't help but want all over my ice cream and baked goods... I even like to dab vanilla extract on my wrists when baking. Suffice it to say, I'm a fan. Now, imagine yourself in a country like Madagascar, where there are enough vanilla beans to pave the streets. There, thanks to such quantity, the people use vanilla bean caviar much more whimsically than I can ($8 per bean, … [Read more...]

Recipe: “Burnt” Rice Tea (Ranovola) w/ poll

I can't believe I'm going to do this, but here we are: I'm going to show you how to burn rice. It's for a perfectly good cause: a cool, refreshing glass of ranovola, or burnt rice tea. This toasty-tasting drink is popular in Madagascar, where the bottom of the rice pot is reserved to flavor the local river water. It's super easy to do, as long as you don't burn the rice too fast. You have to do it just right. Ahem. Start with a cup of cooked rice spread on the bottom of a … [Read more...]