Fondé, a West African dish made from millet and yoghurt, is a lovely combination of textures and flavours; the sweetness and creaminess of the yoghurt combined with the grainy and nutty flavour of the millet make this simple, healthy and filling snack taste like a rich indulgence.
Millet has in the past dismissively been thought of as the ‘poor man’s grain’ but this humble and hardy crop – staple food to many across Africa and Asia – deserves to be considered an African superfood. Here’s why:
- It’s gluten-free and one of the most easily digested grains around
- It contains B vitamins, Iron, Magnesium and Calcium
- It helps lower cholesterol
- It’s a great source of protein
- It has high levels of Tryptophan
Tryptophan is the ‘magic ingredient’ which makes Fondé the ideal comfort food and evening snack as it produces Serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone which calms your mood and helps you sleep. Here in Senegal, Fondé is usually eaten as a snack in place of dinner, most commonly on Sunday night before a long week of work begins.
Here’s how to make it:
Bring 3 cups of water to the boil
Add 1 cup of millet
Reduce the heat to medium and stir regularly
Turn off the heat once all the water has been absorbed into the millet (about 25 minutes cooking time)
Place a couple of tablespoons of the millet into a bowl
Add lait caillé, a special Senegalese yoghurt which is slightly curdled and runnier than normal (to make your own version of lait caillé use two cups of plain or vanilla yoghurt, one cup of sour cream)
Add a tablespoon or two of condensed milk
Add 1-2 teaspoons of plain or vanilla sugar
And there you have it, fabulous Fondé! An easy, nourishing snack that tastes like an extravagant treat. For an added nutritional punch, why not have your Fondé alongside a steaming cup of West African Kinkeliba Tea? See my post on how to make it here.
Fondé is made with millet flour rolled into cous-cous-like balls. While it’s possible to make this at home, most people buy it ready-made. If you’re outside West Africa, head to your nearest African shop or food market to find pre-rolled millet. Here is a directory of African supermarkets around the world.