Cookbooks to share African cuisines

Djouka Fonio recipe and chopped peanuts from Abdoulaye and Fousseyni Djikine

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

In Mali, Djouka is considered a popular dish because it is prepared with cheap and easily accessible ingredients in many villages, even for less well-off families. Djouka is made with fonio and groundnuts ground in a mortar according to the purest Malian tradition. For families who can afford it or for the holidays, it is served with grilled meat (mutton or chicken), onions and the famous okra. We are happy to share this recipe with you because it is our dad’s madeleine Proust! As a child, after eating it, he refused to wash his hands to keep the smell all day … True story. Today it is Fouss’s favorite dish that always has at least one portion in the freezer prepared by mum (you never know)!

For the peanut fonio
200 g of fonio
200 g of red peanuts
Salt and pepper

For the chicken
4 to 6 chicken legs
3 tbsp. mustard
½ lemon
1 nut
Salt and pepper
Fry oil

For the okra puree
200 g of okra
1 tablespoon. lime juice
Salt and pepper

For the sautéed onions
4 yellow onions
1 nut
1 tablespoon. mustard
2 tbsp. colored vinegar
4 cl neutral vegetable oil
Salt and pepper

Marinate the chicken
1. Make incisions in the meat of the chicken legs. In a salad bowl, marinate them with the mustard, lemon juice, crumbled broth cube, a pinch of salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator (ideally overnight).
Prepare the peanut fonio
2. Immerse the fonio in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain it. Grind the peanuts using a blender to reduce them to a powder. You must obtain a preparation with a very fine grain.

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

4. Steam again in the couscoussier for 15 minutes. Reserve.

5. Steam the ground peanuts for about ten minutes.

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

Cook the chicken
7. In hot oil, fry the chicken legs for 15-20 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking. They must have a well grilled appearance with a crispy skin!

Prepare the okra puree
8. Chase the okra (both ends). Boil the water in a saucepan. Add the okra and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Remove them from the water and mash them by beating them with a fork, beating them or blending them. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper and the lime juice. Mix.

Prepare the fried onions
9. Slice the yellow onions. In very hot oil, sauté the onions over high heat for about 5 minutes, adding the crumbled nut, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir frequently.

10. On the fonio / peanut base, arrange the chicken legs, onions and okra puree. Enjoy it hot!

Tips from Bamakool & the Gang
• Before steaming peanuts, you can add 1 pinch of baking soda. According to our mom, this would have the effect of exacerbating their reddish color and thus improving the aesthetics of your dish. This would be the secret of all Djouka’s finest dishes!
• Fry the chicken legs in not too hot oil. In fact, if the oil is too hot, the outside will be golden brown, but the chicken will not be cooked. Count 15 to 20 minutes for chicken legs of about 350g.
• After the recommended frying time, to be sure that the chicken legs are well cooked, you can cut them at the joint. If they are still bleeding, cook them again.
• You can also bake the chicken legs in the oven for about 45 minutes. Pour a little water into the pan before putting them in the oven, then regularly wet the thighs with the sauce so that they do not dry out during cooking.
• Okra has a viscous appearance that can put off many people despite its excellent taste. If you don’t want to be tempted, you can roast them in the oven instead of mashing them. Then cut the okra into 2, leave them to soak for 30 min in water and vinegar, then roast them in the oven for 20 min at 200 ° C (th. 6/7): tadam, the viscous aspect has disappeared! Arrange these roasted okra on the fonio / peanut base before serving.