Akoho sy Voanio Recipe - A Delicious Central African Dish

Akoho sy Voanio

Akoho sy Voanio Recipe - A Delicious Central African Dish
Region / culture: Central African Republic | Preparation time: 1 hour | Cooking time: 45 minutes | Servings: 4


Akoho sy Voanio
Akoho sy Voanio

Akoho sy Voanio is a traditional dish from Madagascar, embodying the rich culinary traditions of the island. This dish, which translates to "chicken with coconut," is a delightful blend of succulent chicken pieces simmered in a fragrant coconut milk sauce. The combination of spices and the creamy texture of the coconut milk create a unique flavor profile that is both exotic and comforting. This recipe is not only a journey into Malagasy cuisine but also an exploration of the harmonious blend of flavors that characterize the island's culinary heritage.


The origins of Akoho sy Voanio can be traced back to the diverse culinary influences that have shaped Malagasy cuisine over the centuries. Madagascar, being a significant stopover in the historic spice trade, was influenced by a myriad of cultures, including African, Asian, and European. This fusion is reflected in the dish, which combines local ingredients like coconut and chicken with spices such as ginger, brought by traders from distant lands. Akoho sy Voanio is a testament to the island's rich history and its ability to blend different culinary traditions into a unique and flavorful dish.


How to prepare

  1. In a glass dish, marinate the chicken in the lemon juice, lemon rind, salt, and pepper for about an hour.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or any large covered pot. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the chicken and continue to cook and stir until the chicken is nearly done. Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and ginger and stir for a few minutes.
  3. Add coconut milk and simmer over low heat until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce is thickened. Stir often. Serve over rice.


  • Add a splash of fish sauce or a pinch of shrimp paste for an umami boost.
  • Include vegetables such as bell peppers or zucchini for added texture and nutrition.
  • For a spicier version, increase the amount of red pepper or add a few slices of fresh chili.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best flavor and texture for your Akoho sy Voanio, consider the following tips:

- Marinate the chicken for at least an hour to enhance its flavor.

- Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the marinade to add a vibrant tang.

- Sauté the onions and garlic until they are translucent to bring out their sweetness.

- Simmer the dish on low heat to allow the flavors to meld together without overcooking the chicken.

- Stir the dish occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Akoho sy Voanio is best served over a bed of fluffy rice to soak up the delicious coconut sauce. For a complete meal, accompany the dish with a side of sautéed greens or a fresh salad.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in preparing Akoho sy Voanio is simmering. This slow-cooking process allows the flavors to develop fully and the chicken to become tender without falling apart. Marinating the chicken beforehand also enhances the depth of flavor in the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If coconut milk is unavailable, almond milk mixed with a teaspoon of coconut extract can be a suitable substitute.

- Lemon juice can be replaced with lime juice for a slightly different citrus note.

- In the absence of fresh tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes can be used as an alternative.

Make Ahead Tips

Marinate the chicken and prepare the sauce a day ahead, storing them separately in the refrigerator. When ready to cook, simply sauté the chicken as directed, add the pre-made sauce, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through. This method saves time and allows the flavors to meld together even more.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Akoho sy Voanio in a deep dish or bowl to showcase the rich, creamy sauce. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro or slices of lime for a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Akoho sy Voanio with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling. These wines complement the creamy coconut and tender chicken without overpowering the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, gently warm the dish over low heat on the stove, adding a little water or coconut milk if the sauce has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of Akoho sy Voanio contains approximately 300-350 calories. This makes it a relatively light yet satisfying meal, perfect for those monitoring their calorie intake.


A serving of Akoho sy Voanio contains approximately 15-20 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of carbohydrates in this dish comes from the tomatoes and onions. Serving this dish over rice will increase the carbohydrate content, making it a more filling meal.


This dish is relatively moderate in fat content, with most of the fats coming from the coconut milk. A serving of Akoho sy Voanio contains about 10-15 grams of fat, depending on the fat content of the coconut milk used. Using light coconut milk can reduce the fat content if desired.


Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, and a serving of Akoho sy Voanio provides approximately 25-30 grams of protein. This makes the dish a great option for those looking to increase their protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

Akoho sy Voanio is rich in several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the lemon and tomatoes, vitamin A from the red pepper, and various B vitamins from the chicken. The dish also provides minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and iron.


This dish is free from common allergens such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. However, those with allergies to shellfish should be cautious of cross-contamination with coconut products.


Overall, Akoho sy Voanio is a balanced dish that provides a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It is moderately caloric, making it suitable for a variety of dietary needs.


Akoho sy Voanio is a flavorful and nutritious dish that showcases the best of Malagasy cuisine. With its rich history, versatile flavors, and healthful ingredients, it's a wonderful way to explore the culinary traditions of Madagascar. Whether you're cooking for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, this dish is sure to impress.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately drawn to it. I was visiting my friend Marie in Madagascar and she had prepared a traditional Malagasy dish called Akoho sy Voanio. As soon as I took my first bite, I knew that I had to learn how to make it myself.

Marie was kind enough to show me how to make the dish, explaining each step in detail. She told me that Akoho sy Voanio is a popular chicken dish in Madagascar, known for its rich and flavorful sauce made with coconut milk, ginger, garlic, and spices.

I watched carefully as Marie seasoned the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then browned them in a hot skillet until they were golden and crispy. She then added chopped onions, garlic, and ginger to the skillet, sautéing them until they were fragrant and translucent.

Next, Marie poured in a generous amount of coconut milk, allowing it to simmer and thicken until it formed a creamy sauce. She seasoned the sauce with a blend of spices, including turmeric, cumin, and coriander, giving it a warm and fragrant flavor.

As the dish cooked, the aroma filled the kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. I couldn't wait to taste the finished dish and see if I had successfully recreated Marie's delicious Akoho sy Voanio.

Finally, after simmering for about 30 minutes, the dish was ready. Marie served it over a bed of fluffy white rice, garnishing it with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. The chicken was tender and flavorful, with a rich and creamy sauce that coated each bite.

I took my first bite and closed my eyes, savoring the complex flavors that danced on my tongue. The creamy coconut milk balanced perfectly with the warm spices, creating a dish that was both comforting and exotic.

From that moment on, Akoho sy Voanio became a staple in my kitchen. I made it for my family and friends, impressing them with the unique flavors and warm memories of Madagascar that the dish brought to mind.

Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe to make it my own, adding my own special touch with a hint of chili for a spicy kick. Each time I make Akoho sy Voanio, I am transported back to Marie's kitchen in Madagascar, where I first fell in love with this delicious dish.

Now, whenever I cook Akoho sy Voanio, I think of Marie and the wonderful memories we shared in Madagascar. I am grateful for her generosity in sharing her recipe with me, allowing me to bring a taste of her homeland into my own kitchen.

As I sit down to enjoy a steaming bowl of Akoho sy Voanio, I am reminded of the power of food to connect us to new cultures and experiences. The flavors may be exotic and unfamiliar, but they bring me comfort and joy, reminding me of the bonds that are created through the sharing of a simple meal.

And so, as I take my last bite of Akoho sy Voanio, I am filled with gratitude for the memories and the flavors that have enriched my life. Cooking this dish has become more than just a recipe – it is a way for me to honor the friendship and the love that inspired me to learn and create something new.


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