Lasary Legioma (Tomato Relish) Recipe from “In Bibi’s Kitchen”

Lasary Legioma is a tomato relish from Madagascar that is similar to pico de gallo in Mexican cuisines. Enjoy as pre-dinner snack with cheese and grilled bread or as an accompaniment to fish for dinner.

Side view of Lasary Legioma (Tomato Relish) in a white bowl set on a wooden board.

Alison Bickel

The bright acidic flavors of tomato, ginger, cilantro, lime juice and scallions combine to create this easy-to-make and colorful fresh relish from Madagascar called Lasary Legioma. It’s the prefect recipe to make at the height of tomato season when summer’s favorite fruit is at its best.

This tomato relish is typical of the island’s cuisine and is often served with a variety of other small side dishes called laoka, and rice to accompany a main course.

How to Use Lasary Legioma (Tomato Relish)

It’s similar in texture to pico de gallo or bruschetta and can be used in that way as well. I like to put a bowl of it out on the table for guests with some root vegetable chips for a pre-dinner snack.

Here are some additional serving suggestions:

  • Serve it with soft cheeses and grilled bread or crackers
  • As an accompaniment to fish for dinner
  • Pair it with grilled shrimp
  • With an omelet for breakfast
  • Add it to a grain bowl
  • Toss it into a salad
  • Serve it on a sandwich
‘In Bibi’s Kitchen’ Lasary Legioma Recipe in a dark bowl with a wooden spoon.
Alison Bickel

Quality Counts

Since there are so few ingredients here, make sure they’re of the highest quality. You can use any tomato you like (a combination of colors is nice), just make sure they are very ripe and juicy. Don’t bother removing the seeds. You want the whole tomato diced up with all of its flavors and textures.

How to Store Lasary Legioma

This relish will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Bring it to room temperature before serving. You may want to re-season the dish.

A Little Bit about Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the world’s 5 largest islands and home to 25 million people. It sits off the coast of Mozambique and it’s considered one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet—more than 90 percent of the species found there cannot be found anywhere else. It’s also the world’s largest supplier of vanilla.

East African Tomato Relish in a bowl with flat bread and crumbly cheese above it.
Alison Bickel

About “In BiBi’s Kitchen

In the gorgeous storytelling cookbook, “In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes & Stories of Grandmothers from Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean” by Somali chef Hawa Hassan with food writer Julia Turshen readers are invited on a journey to explore the countries, food and meet the people from eight east African nations.

Learning about each country and some of the women behind the recipes provides context to the delicious food on your table. It’s the perfect book for someone wanting more than just a recipe.

Lasary Legioma (Tomato Relish) Recipe from “In Bibi’s Kitchen”

Prep Time 10 mins
Rest Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 6 servings

Recipe reprinted with permission from “In Bibi’s Kitchen” by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Ingredients

  • 3 large tomatoes, finely diced
  • 6 scallions, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Small handful of cilantro leaves (or parsley), minced

Method

  1. Combine ingredients:

    In a medium bowl, place the tomatoes, scallions, lime juice, ginger, salt, and cilantro. Stir to combine.

    Let it sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours before serving so all of the flavors have a chance to marinate together.

    Ingredients to make Hawa Hassan’s Lasary Legioma (Tomato Relish) Recipe set on a wooden cutting board.
    Alison Bickel
    Overhead view of East African Tomato Relish in a dark bowl with a wooden spoon lifting up some of the relish.
    Alison Bickel
  2. How to store leftovers:

    Leftovers can be stored in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (bring to room temperature and season to taste again before serving).