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  • The album Soul Makassar (released in 2001) by Madagascar's Tarika was a special project where their leader Hanitra Rasoanaivo travelled to Sulawesi in Indonesia looking for the ancestral origins of the Malagasy people. She found many similarities, including a sweet honey and peanut pastry identical to a countryside dish called Koba made in Madagascar. Her song Koba, which Tarika recorded in London, Bandung and Jakarta with Indonesian musicians guesting, became a big hit in Madagascar, and Koba became so fashionable that it ended up being sold in the most expensive hotels in Antananarivo!
    From Hanitra's album notes:
    "Koba, in Antananarivo, is a kind of sweet pastry made out of rice flour with some peanuts, honey in the middle, wrapped up in banana leaves and always looking rather black. It is sold in thin slices and quite expensive because of its apparently complex cooking process. It is brought from the countryside to be sold in the city, and nobody knows how to make a koba at home because it is a secret recipe kept by the ones who sell it."
    "As I was following the process of how a block of cork wood becomes a beautifully detailed head of a Rama puppet, I heard a familiar sound just next to me and everybody came out of their houses with plates in their hands. It was a man with what is called lontong in Javanese food. It was exactly like koba but they have it savoury as well. He slices the koba, pours pieces of chicken in coconut, tomato and chilli sauce, adds crushed peanuts on it and tops it up with Indonesian sweet ketchup. And off you go, back to your room, munching away on this dish at 11am. I was not sure whether this was breakfast or lunch but the man had lots of customers."
    "I had two pages opened in front of me, one on how to make puppets and another how to make lontong. I finally found out the recipe, and it will be a revelation to people in my village!"

    Category : Madagascar Videos


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