Senegalese Fonio Pilaf
Known as “the grain of life” in West Africa, fonio is a type of millet seed which has been cultivated for centuries. Rich in protein and essential amino acids, fonio’s mild, nutty flavor pairs perfectly with our zesty Yassa flavor blend, which features lemon, onion, garlic, ginger, mustard and a hint of hot spice. Similar in texture to couscous, our Senegalese Fonio Pilaf makes a delicious side or main dish and can be prepared on the stovetop or in the microwave in minutes.
Combine 1 cup of Senegalese Fonio Pilaf with 1 cup of water in a microwave proof bowl, stir well to combine. Cover tightly and cook on high heat in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and let stand for 5 minutes before uncovering. Carefully “fluff” with the tines of a fork before serving.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Fonio, Salt, Onion, Contains 2% or less of Spices, Carrot, bell pepper, Sunflower oil, Lemon powder (Corn syrup solids, lemon juice concentrate, lemon oil), Apple cider vinegar powder (Maltodextrin, apple cider vinegar, modified food starch), Citric acid, Garlic. Contains Mustard.
Fonio has been cultivated across the dry savannas of West Africa for thousands of years. Once a staple grain across the continent, cultivation and consumption diminished as a result of colonization and globalization. Nevertheless, fonio remains a staple in certain regions of Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Nigeria. Each year West African farmers devote approximately 300,000 hectares to cultivating fonio, which supplies food to 3-4 million people. More recently, fonio has come to enjoy some popularity in the west thanks to the efforts of Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam, whose TED Talk on the subject has been viewed more than one million times.
Fonio contains a good amount of dietary fiber, protein, minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, and vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B3. Additionally, fonio is rich in methionine and cystine, amino acids vital to human health. It also gluten free, providing a unique alternative to couscous and rice.
Yassa is a popular Senegalese sauce made with lemon, onion, mustard and hot chiles. It is typically served with chicken or fish.
Yassa is a popular dish of poultry or fish originating in West Africa. This recipe features the super grain fonio. Our Yassa Fonio is formulated to replicate the spicy, savory flavors of the Casamance region with ginger, chiles and lemon. We pair Yassa Fonio with a simple Harissa Spice Blend seasoned roasted chicken.