Quick & Easy Curried Fonio

published Sep 4, 2022
Curried Fonio Recipe
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Light photograph of curried fonio in a bowl with a chicken wing, vegetables, and a silver fork.
Credit: Maria Do

As an avid grain-eater, I am always looking for ways to diversify my side dishes — and curried fonio is one of my favorites. The gluten-free super-grain native to West Africa is the perfect vehicle to let curry spices shine. With a handful of pantry ingredients and in under 30 minutes, the little grain transforms into a fluffy pot of warmth and goodness.

Feel free to play around with the recipe. I love to throw seasonable vegetables into the mix to utilize the fresh ingredients I find at my local farmers market. If for some reason you don’t eat all of it in one sitting, this curried fonio makes a great addition to a breakfast scramble or hash. It’d also be delicious fried into fritters!

Credit: Maria Do

Curried Fonio Recipe

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Makes about 2 cups

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 1/2

    small white or yellow onion

  • 2 large cloves


  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground coriander

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground turmeric

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon

    smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground fenugreek

  • 3 tablespoons

    neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed, divided

  • 1/2 cup

    fonio, such as Yolélé

  • 2 cups

    water or low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/4 cup

    toasted pecans

  • 2 tablespoons

    chopped fresh parsley leaves or cilantro

  • 3 tablespoons



  1. Dice 1/2 small white or yellow onion. Mince 2 large garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon). Place 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek in a small bowl and stir to combine.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the neutral oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon neutral oil and 1/2 cup fonio, and stir until coated in the spices. Add 2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 1 minute more.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute. Cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1/4 cup toasted pecans. Pick and coarsely chop fresh parsley leaves or cilantro until you have 2 tablespoons.

  5. Uncover and fluff the fonio with a fork. Add the pecans, parsley or cilantro, and 3 tablespoons raisins, and gently fold to combine.

Recipe Notes

Fonio: The fonio can also be cooked in the microwave by placing everything in a microwave-safe bowl, covering it but leaving a small air vent, and microwaving for 5 minutes.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.