Fura da nono is a staple dish in northern Nigeria where it had mostly as lunch. It is very common to see beautifully adorned Fulani ladies under shades of trees with big calabashes which hold their milk and fura balls. Orders are mixed in smaller calabashes with calabash spoons and the buyer has the choice of adding sukari (sugar) or not. The fura balls are made from millet flour which has been spiced with ginger, cloves and sometimes, pepper. It is a very healthy and satisfying dish. It is also one dish you can personalize by your choice of diary.
(1) 400 Grams Millet Flour (Gero) (See Note 1)
(2) 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Ginger Powder (Cìtá) (See Note 2)
(3) 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves (Gùrúmbàlí)
(4) 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper
(5) Pinch of Salt
(6) 1-1/4 Cups Water
(1) Your choice of raw milk, skimmed milk, yogurt, Greek yogurt or heavy creamed milk (Kindirmo)
(2) Sugar (Optional)
(1) Traditionally, whole grain millet is locally processed to flour using a mortar. The grains are pounded with a little bit of water to loosen the chaff. After blowing away the chaff, the hulled millet is then pounded and sifted to get millet flour. I have avoided all these steps and gone ahead to purchase already processed millet flour.
(2) If you want your fura balls to be more spicy, you can increase the quantity of the various spices in this recipe.
(1) In a large bowl, mix the millet flour with all the spices.
(2) Add the water to the flour mixture a little at a time until a thick paste is formed. You might not need all the water and you might need a little bit more.
(3) Shape the millet paste into small balls, the size of golf balls.
(4) Place the millet balls in a pot, add some water and boil them for about 30 minutes. You want the balls to be cooked all the way through. After 30 minutes, break a ball to see if it is properly cooked or if the inside still looks lighter in color and raw. If it is still raw, keep cooking the balls until it is done. The cooking duration will ultimately depend on the size of your balls.
(5) After the millet balls have cooked, place them in a mortar and pound them into a paste. This is to make the balls even in texture and easy to break later on. I do not have a mortar and so used a stand mixer. A food processor can also be used.
(6) Shape the cooked millet paste into balls again. Roll the balls in some millet flour to coat them and keep them from sticking to each other.
To eat, break some millet balls into a bowl, add your dairy of choice and mash it to form a thick paste. Add some more diary to thin it out and sweeten it with sugar if you want to. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend them into fura da nono. My choice of dairy: half yogurt and half milk.
Love millet? Try some Millet Pudding.