The first time I saw Thiakry (pronounced cha-kry) at a Senegalese restaurant, I won’t lie, I kind of gave it a side eye. It looked like a boring porridge that was another version of tapioca, and I was guessed that I would not like it… was I extra wrong. My friend who grew up eating Senegalese food was there with me, and ignored my skepticism and ordered the Thiakry anyway. Thank God for food envy, my longathroat (Nigerian slang for envy) led me to try her Thiakry, and I was sold since then.
Traditional Thiakry is made with a millet couscous, and nothing compares to the traditional version. I did not have access to Thiakry couscous, so I decided to try it out with real millet grains, and I must say, it came very close to being as perfect as the traditional version. I am currently in the process of learning how to make actual Thiakry couscous, so there might be an update to this recipe in the future, but for now this just as good.
Thiakry is a sweet, creamy and mildly tangy dessert that is mostly native to Senegal and Gambia. I could tell you that it is an elevated tapioca pudding, but I would not be doing this dish much justice; it is significantly better. It can be topped with mangoes, raisins, coconuts or chopped nuts.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.
- 1 cup millet
- 2 cups water to boil the millet
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 14 oz about 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Chopped pistachios optional
- Rinse and boil the millet in two cups of water and 1/4 tsp salt for 30 minutes on low to medium heat.
- Allow the millet to cool completely in a flat tray/plate to keep it from clumping.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, yogurt, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Whisk in the millet and allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least on hour and then serve topped with chopped pistachios.