Easy Ancient Grain Fonio Curry: Exploring The New Quinoa

Easy Ancient Grain Fonio Curry: Exploring The New Quinoa


With so many new “ancient grains” on the market today, it’s easy for shoppers to become overwhelmed. Quinoa, amaranth, and teff are just a few of the newer, popular grains that can be found at most grocery stores alongside more familiar options, such as rice and oats. Fonio is a new addition to the list even though it has ancient origins.

Fonio may be referred to as “the new quinoa.” However, it’s native to West Africa and has been prized for more than 5,000 years. A member of the millet family, fonio is tiny, often resembling sand in its uncooked state. The ancient crop called fonio is extremely user-friendly. It grows in semi-arid climates and requires little input, such as water or fertilizers, making it an ideal crop to grow. Drought and flood-resistant, Fonio thrives in extreme conditions. The fonio plant grows quickly. It reaches maturity in six to eight weeks. Its deep roots help regenerate topsoil and stores carbon dioxide away from the atmosphere.

Easy And Spicy Fonio Curry

fonio curry
A member of the millet family, fonio is one of the smallest grains, resembling sand when uncooked
fonio curry

Fonio Curry

Spice up this ancient grain as a main or delicious side dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2 cup Fonio
  • 3 cups broth Can be chicken or vegetable, or simply use water
  • 3 tsp curry powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen veggies Feel free to use fresh, just make sure to cook them until tender
  • to taste salt


  • Heat vegetables in a separate pan with a little oil/ butter
  • Mix the spices together
  • Bring broth/ water to a boil
  • Add the spices and fonio, whisk quickly and cover pot
  • Cook dish on low for 5 minutes 
  • Turn off the heat after 5 minutes
  • Let sit covered- no need to stir for 10 minutes
  • After 12 minutes, open the cover fluff the fonio with a fork
  • Mix in vegetables
  • Salt to taste


  • Fonio curry is a good side dish to be paired with curried chicken or tofu
  • Do not let it burn, shut it off as soon as the water is gone from the fonio
  • The texture should be similar to couscous, but smaller
  • Vegetables could be fresh prepared- baked carrots spears, baked potato cubes, etc.
  • I added a sauce I heated separately until hot (not boiling)- 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 can coconut milk, 1 teaspoon curry, 1 teaspoon coconut sugar, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, ¼ teaspoon salt
Keyword Dairy-free, Gluten-free

Check out our other great Co-op Cooks articles!

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