Acha – Fonio is one of my favourite things ever. One way to enjoy it is by way of ‘Jollof’, that cooking, stewing, simmering in a rich, red tomato sauce.
You’ll need equal amounts of:
- Acha/ Fonio (clean)
- Stock/ water
- Tomato sauce (tomatoes, onions, chilies, blended together then reduced, cooked down)
In a dry pan, toast your acha on medium heat, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Toasting adds a rich, nutty depth of flavour. It also moderates the way liquid is absorbed by the grains.
Once toasted, after about 10 -15 minutes, remove from the pan.
In a pan, add a splash of cooking oil, some tomato puree – about 1 tablespoon for every cup of sauce, and the tomato sauce. Add the stock too. Stir to combine, check for seasoning then…
Then, sprinkle the toasted acha into the mix.
It will be swamped by the sauce. Worry not.
My next step is to cover with foil paper – to lock the heat in – this will prevent you from adding lots of liquid which could end up in a soggy mess. So cover with foil paper, put the pot’s lid on and cook on very low heat.
The acha is cooked when the grains have absorbed the sauce and is plump, about 10 – 15 minutes.
Leave to sit for another 10 and then fluff the grains with a fork – by raking up and through.
If you decide to make this the day before, it’s best and easiest to fluff up the grains. I was shocked at how each grain stood on its own!
Serve how you like and enjoy the deliciousness. Because Everyday is World Jollof Rice Day.
What does it taste like? Delicious. Nuty, spiced, flavourful. Especially after a day. Some say like couscous. This also makes a great stuffing for Chicken. Coming soon. Next? Spaghetti/ Pasta Jollof