Meza Malonga: Afro-fusion cuisine that is making waves


Manananasi (Pineapple in Swahili) (for 4 people)
By Chef Dieuveil Malonga (adapted for BBC Travel)

Spicy pineapple


2 pineapples
1 vanilla pod
6g ground cinnamon
6 cardamom seeds
6 Penja pepper seeds (black peppercorns can be substituted)
10g of butter
30g brown sugar


Clean and peel two pineapples. Cut a pineapple into pieces, then blend it and strain the juice. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. Pour the pineapple juice into a saucepan, then add the vanilla seeds, cinnamon, cardamom seeds and Penja pepper seeds. Boil the mixture until it is reduced to about half the original amount.

Take the other pineapple and cut it into rings. Sear the pineapple rings with butter and brown sugar until caramelized. Place the caramelized pineapple rings in the previously reduced pineapple juice, and refrigerate for 6 hours.

Coconut Meringue


20 g unsweetened grated coconut
3 large egg whites
40g caster sugar


Heat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread coconut on baking sheet and bake until golden brown (about 5 minutes); remove from oven, then lower oven to 200°F (95°C).

Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Slowly sprinkle with powdered sugar while beating until whites are stiff and glossy. Using a pastry bag fitted with a large nozzle, pipe the meringue into shapes on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with grated coconut and bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let the meringues dry inside the oven until crispy.

Ginger Caramel


3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons heavy cream
10g of butter
1 tbsp fresh ginger juice (made by mixing fresh, peeled ginger root with water)


In a small saucepan over medium heat, add sugar and salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until golden brown, without stirring (4 to 5 more minutes).

Once the caramel is a deep copper color, turn off the heat and immediately stir in the cream, butter and ginger juice. The mixture will bubble so be careful! Cool slightly in pan, then transfer to a storage container to cool completely.

To assemble:

Place a pineapple ring on a plate, then carefully arrange the meringues, ginger caramel, and decorations like moringa leaves and flowers on top of the pineapple ring.

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