Skip to main content

Rice, rice, tasty

First suggested by Scouts Madagascar
Whip up a refreshing glass of ranovola, a Madagascan toasted rice treat.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Pans
  • Access to water
  • Stoves
  • Sieve
  • Cooked rice

Before you begin

  • Make sure you’ve risk assessed your meeting, and also have a COVID-19 safe risk assessment that’s been agreed by your line manager. You can check out more detailed guidance here.
  • We think this activity works best when you run it as a side activity during a meeting, or when you run it half a group at a time. This helps reduce the amount of equipment you’ll need too.
  • Review the safety information on gas stoves before you get stuck in.

Safety checklist

Use the Safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional coronavirus-related controls to think about may include:

  • Set up a handwashing station that you can use throughout the session.
  • Plan how to hand out equipment to maintain a safe distance between group members.
  • Have a plan for washing up the equipment after use as it won’t work for everyone to crowd round the same sink.

Set up the stoves

  1. Everyone should form a distanced horseshoe shape so they can see the person leading the activity while staying two metres apart from everyone else.
  2. The person leading the activity should get a stove. They should show everyone how to safely put it together and take it apart. They should answer people’s questions and repeat steps if people are unsure.
  1. The person leading the activity must tell everyone about how to use the equipment safely, including how to connect the fuel, what the main risks are, and how to control these risks.
  2. Everyone should find a space and set up their own stove.
  1. An adult must check that each person’s equipment is safe. They should stay distanced – for example, the person using the stove could step back two metres so the adult can go to the stove and check it.

Rice to ranovola

  1. Add a cup of cooked rice to a pan over a medium heat, constantly stir and move the rice around to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  1. Keep cooking the rice until it smells toasty and most of the water is cooked out. The rice should go almost completely dry – when you stir it, it should sound like you’re stirring a bunch of pebbles.
  1. Once the rice is toasted, take it off the heat and add one and a half litres of hot water.
  1. Let the rice water cool to room temperature, pour it through a sieve and serve. You can add ice for a cooler drink.


This activity was all about trying something brand new. Keeping an open mind towards new flavours, cultures, and experiences can help people to find brand new, amazing things. While a quick rice drink might not be the key to unlocking a whole new world of culture, the mindset of embracing new things might just be. What did people think the ranovola would taste like? How did they feel about trying it? Maybe people felt a bit unsure if it was different to things they’d tried before. What did it taste like? Were people glad they’d given it a go, even if ranovola isn’t their new favourite beverage?


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.

Fires and stoves

Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.


Check for allergies before you begin and read the guidance on food safety. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.