Fonio Balls in Peanut Sauce

Fonio Balls in African Peanut Sauce (Vegan)

4.4 from 8 reviews

Tender fonio balls served in a delicious coconut peanut sauce flavored with spices, ginger, and garlic.



Fonio Balls

  • 1 cup fonio
  • 2 and 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup quick oats (or rolled oats)
  • 1/2 tsp harissa paste
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chili
  • 1 tsp each: paprika and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

Coconut Peanut Sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water (you might have to use 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts


Fonio Balls

  1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the fonio and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until no liquid remains, about 7-8 minutes.
  2. Transfer the cooked fonio to the bowl of a food processor. Add the oats, harissa paste, onion, garlic, spices, and tomato paste. Process for 20-30 seconds, scraping down the sides regularly until everything is well combined and the mixture is sticky enough to form balls. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  3. Using your hands, form balls (about 3 tablespoons of the mixture per ball). Transfer to a large plate or dish lined with parchment paper and set aside. You should get about 12 balls.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the balls and rotate the skillet to coat the balls with oil. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until the balls are golden brown on each side. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Coconut Peanut Sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic, and grated ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot and red bell pepper, and cook for 5-8 minutes, or until the carrots are soft.
  2. Pour in the coconut milk, peanut butter, water, tomato paste, coconut sugar, ground chili, and salt. Stir well to combine everything. For a thinner sauce, use 3/4 cup water instead of 1/2 cup. Taste and adjust salt, or sugar if needed. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the fonio balls to the sauce and stir to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. Top with peanuts, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley. Serve immediately on top of rice, or simply with a green salad.