Kitchen World Tour: Comoros

Entree: Langouste à la Vanille (Grilled lobster in vanilla sauce)

Main: M’Tsolola and Mkatra Foutra bread.

Comoros is a tiny island nation between East Africa and Madagascar. When I started researching Comoros, its cuisine seemed very culturally confused. It is an Islamic country which has been influenced by Persia, Oman, India, Portugal, France and the East African mainland.

At first its recipes didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Coffee and yeast in flatbread? Coffee in beef and chicken stew, coconut in absolutely everything and finally vanilla on seafood. But after trying these recipes Comoros cuisine is one of the best surprises we have had so far. It ranks right up there with Cambodian cuisine in flavour combinations.

The entree, Langouste à la Vanille, was grilled lobster in a cream, butter, onion and vanilla sauce. Simply divine. Vanilla on shellfish is something everyone has to try. The M’Tsoloa is a fish and green banana stew, in a spicy spinach and coconut sauce. And finally the accompanying Mkatra Foutra bread – I followed the recipe, thought I got it wrong as it was way too wet for a leavened bread, but it turned out great. I learnt so much preparing this meal.

Next Up: Congo-Brazzaville (not to be confused with the Democratic Republic of Congo).