These steamed lentil-sized balls of millet flour are a traditional special-occasion food in Senegal. I had my first taste of tiakri at the baptism of a girlfriend's nephew. The tangy taste of the buttermilk and the almost Wheatena-like flavor of the small pellets of millet reminded me of my childhood.
- 1 pound millet flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 quart buttermilk
- 3/4 cup Vanilla Sugar
- Confectioners' sugar to taste
Place the millet flour in a medium-sized bowl and dampen it slightly with the water. Form small lentil-sized balls from the dampened flour by rubbing them around in your hands. Think kindergarten and making beads. (You may need more or less water depending on the texture of your millet flour, so add the water gradually.) When the balls are made, place them in the top part of a couscoussière or a steamer and steam until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. When ready, remove and allow the tiakri to cool to room temperature. While the milled balls are cooling, add the sugars to the buttermilk and stir well to make sure that it is well mixed. When the milled balls have cooled, place them in a serving bowl, pour the sweetened buttermilk over them, and serve.