Have you guys ever heard of fonio?
It’s the barbarian name of a small grain that has been used for thousands of years in West Africa. Fonio looks a bit like brown sugar, it’s a very small grain. It’s naturally gluten-free, has an earthy, nutty flavor and a texture similar to couscous when cooked. It’s also rich in fiber, protein, iron, and calcium. I still wonder why I didn’t try it sooner!
These fonio balls are super tender and served in an African-inspired peanut sauce. Ready?
We start by cooking the fonio. Since it is a very small grain (a bit smaller than millet), it cooks very quickly. Just 7 minutes in boiling water and it’s ready!
The mixture for the balls is easy to prepare. You process the cooked fonio, oats, spices, and aromatics like garlic and onion in a food processor until everything is well combined and sticky enough to form balls. For the spices, I went with a mix of ground cumin, chili, paprika, coriander, fenugreek, and cinnamon. This mix is inspired by famous African spice blends like Ras el Hanout, or Berbere. If you have those in your pantry, feel free to use it instead of the different spices….