Fonio is an African superfood grain that grows in West Africa and is delicious in traditional and new recipes (

Fonio grains on the stalk, after harvest (Wikipedia)

Fonio is an amazing West African superfood and artisanal grain that we have cultivated for thousands of years, and lucky for us, it’s easy and quick to cook as well. You can make a pot of fonio in minutes: most of the time it takes is to the boil the water.

It is gluten-free, making it a great substitute for bread or white rice. It has more protein than most grains and, like quionoa, is great for vegetarians. Fonio is also full of fiber and slowly digested, making it a good carbohydrate, especially for diabetics and those watching their blood sugar.

Steamed Fonio (Simple Fonio Couscous)

Make this fonio couscous instead of rice for a protein-rich, delicious side dish for vegetables, stew or sauce

(Serves 4)

2 cups fonio grains

2 cups water


1. Bring the water to a boil in a pot.

2. Add the salt and the fonio, and cover.

3. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, or until the fonio has absorbed all its water.

4. If the fonio is still too chewy for your taste, add a little more boiling water to the pot, cover and leave for a few more minutes as it absorbs. If there’s still water in the pot, put it back on high heat and cook, stirring, until the water boils off.


For more delicious African fonio recipes, try:

Fonio Recipes

To learn more about fonio, we suggest:

About African Fonio

To explore more about our continent’s favorite food staples, we suggest:

About African Starches and Artisanal Grains
Cooking with African Starches and Artisanal Grains