Recipe books to share African cuisines

Djouka Fonio & ground peanuts recipe by Abdoulaye and Fousseyni Djikine

For 4 to 6 people
Preparation: 30 min
Cooking: 1 hour 20 minutes
Marinade: 2 hours to overnight

In Mali, Djouka is considered a popular dish because it is prepared with cheap ingredients that are readily available in many villages, even for less fortunate families. Djouka is made from fonio and ground peanuts in a mortar according to the purest Malian tradition. For families who can afford it or for holidays, it is served with grilled meats (mutton or chicken), onions and the famous okra. We’re excited to share this recipe with you because it’s our Dad’s Proust madeleine! When he was a child, after he ate it, he refused to wash his hands to keep the smell in all day… True story† It’s Fouss’ favorite dish these days that always has at least one serving in the freezer prepared by mommy (you never know)!

For the peanut phonio
200 g phonio
200 g red peanuts
Salt pepper

For the chicken
4 to 6 chicken thighs
3 tbsp. mustard-
½ lemon
1 stock cube
Salt pepper
frying oil

For the okra puree
200g okra
1 tbsp. lime juice
Salt pepper

For the fried onions
4 yellow onions
1 stock cube
1 tbsp. mustard-
2 tablespoons. colored vinegar
4 cl neutral vegetable oil
Salt pepper

Marinate the chicken
1. Make incisions in the meat of the chicken thighs. Marinate them in a salad bowl with the mustard, lemon juice, crumbled stock cube, a pinch of salt and pepper. Let marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours (ideally overnight).
Prepare the peanut fonio
2. Soak the fonio in lukewarm water for 10 minutes and then drain. Grind the peanuts into a powder with a blender. You must obtain a preparation with very fine grains.

3. Steam the fonio in a couscous maker for 15 minutes. Pour it into a bowl, stir the grains and let it cool for a few minutes.

4. Steam for another 15 minutes in the couscoussier. Book.

5. Steam the ground peanuts for about ten minutes.

6. Mix the fonio and ground peanuts in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix and reserve.

Cook the chicken
7. Fry the chicken thighs in hot oil for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them halfway through. They should look good grilled with crispy skin!

Prepare the okra puree
8. Steal the okra (both ends). Boil water in a pan. Add the okra and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove them from the water and mash them by beating, whisking or mixing with a fork. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and the lime juice. To blend.

Prepare the fried onions
9. Cut the yellow onions into rings. In very hot oil, fry the onions over high heat for about 5 minutes, add the crumbled stock cube, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir regularly.

10. Place the chicken thighs, onions and okra puree on the fonio/peanut crust. Warm enjoyment!

Tips from Bamakool & the Gang
• Before steaming the peanuts, you can add 1 pinch of baking soda. According to our mother, this would worsen their reddish color and thus improve the aesthetics of your dish. This would be the secret to all of Djouka’s most beautiful dishes!
• Fry the chicken thighs in oil that is not too hot. Indeed, if the oil is too hot, the outside will be golden brown, but the chicken will not be cooked through. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for chicken thighs of about 350 g.
• At the end of the recommended frying time, to make sure the chicken thighs are well cooked, make a slit at the joint. If they are still bloody, cook them again.
• You can also cook the chicken thighs in the oven for about 45 minutes. Pour some water into the dish before putting them in the oven and moisten the thighs regularly with the juice so they don’t dry out during cooking.
• Okra has a viscous appearance that, despite its excellent taste, can put off many people. If you don’t want to be tempted, you can roast them in the oven instead of pureeing them. Then cut the okra in 2, let them soak in vinegar water for 30 minutes and then roast them in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C (Thu 6/7): tadam, the syrupy aspect is gone! Arrange these roasted okra on your fonio/peanut base before serving.

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