• Fonio pilaf (Desiree Nielsen)Source: Desiree Nielsen

Fonio is a gluten-free grain and nutritious superfood that's native to Africa. It's highly versatile, with a texture and flavour somewhere between quinoa and couscous.






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  • olive oil, for frying
  • ½ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted, roughly chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli, chopped
  • 1 cup fonio, rinsed and drained (or quinoa)
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 grilled asparagus spears

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time: 10 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 165ºC (325ºF).

2. Drizzle oil in a saucepan and over medium-low heat. Add chopped peanuts and chilli and saute for 5-10 minutes.

3. Add fonio to the pan and stir to coat in oil. Add lime juice into the pan and stir.

4. Add in the vegetable stock and increase heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the fonio absorbs all of the liquid, just a few minutes.

5. Leave to sit for 10 minutes.

6. Place asparagus in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Drizzle a little more oil into a frying pan, and place over medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes, turning to cook all sides.

7. Transfer cooked fonio to a plate and top with grilled asparagus.