Future of Food: Fonio

I have not met anyone who does not like couscous (expect my daughter).  I discovered fonio while browsing the shelves at Kalustyan. Move over, couscous. This little-known African grain blows even couscous out of the water.  And wait until you hear more. Popularizing grains such as this actually not just diversifies your diet but that of the world, releasing pressure on the Big 3 (wheat, corn, rice), and ultimately food security for the planet.

Special tools:



  • 1 cup fonio grains
  • allium: 1 scape OR a quarter medium onion, diced
  • spices: 1 tsp jeera + 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns + 10 curry leaves
  • Veggies: 1 pepper, charred and slivered + 1 cup sprouted urad (or moong)
  • 1 tbsp oil; dash of turmeric; salt to taste
  • Topping: 1 tbsp EVOO to moisten


Fonio: Toast fonio lightly and pour 2 cups hot water. Cover and turn off heat. After 10 minutes, fluff with fork.

Heat 1 tbsp oil. Add jeera + whole peppercorns. When the seeds sputter add the curry leaves. Saute for 15-20 seconds. Add the allium, Mix for another 10-15 secs. Mix in the turmeric and then add the veggies. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add salt and then mix in the fonio. Mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add 1 tbsp EVOO and mix well.

Serve warm (with guacamole).

Notes, hints, tips:

  1. Fonio can also be steamed. Although that might take longer, it yields even fluffier fonio.
  2. Use fonio anywhere you would have used couscous. Note that couscous is made from wheat while fonio is a different grain. It is also being touted as a superfood.

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One thought on “Future of Food: Fonio

  1. Fonio is the African millet. 2023 is the year of the millet. India and African countries should exchange their millets.

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