Malinese cuisine consists mainly of millet, corn, or rice porridges served with a variety of "sauces." These sauces can be made with peanuts, okra, baobab leaves or sweet potato leaves. Meats and vegetables are added to the sauces, which are then served over porridge, couscous or rice.

Sweet Millet Fritter


  • 6 Tablespoons of milk
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of dry yeast powder
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 6 Tablespoons cold water
  • 2 cups millet flour
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • Confectioner's sugar for dusting


In a small pan combine the milk and water and gently heat.

Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and add the sugar to dissolve it.

Add the dry yeast and keeping the mixture warm let it stand until the yeast becomes frothy.

Sift together millet flour, rice flour and baking powder.

Stir in the yeast mixture. Cover and let rise for 30 - 40 minutes.

Stir the mixture gently.

In a large skillet, fry spoonfuls of the mixture over a low heat turning frequently to avoid burning.

Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Serve as snack, a light meal or as breakfast.

Fried Bean Balls


  • 2 cups black-eyed peas
  • 1 yellow or red onion diced
  • 6 cups peanut oil for deep frying
  • 4-1/2 cups of cold water
  • Teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 fresh red chili finely diced


Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in 4 cups of the water.

Rinse several times.

In a blender puree the beans in small batches, adding water ½ cup at a time.

Blend with chili, onions, salt and eggs.

Place the thick puree in a bowl and whisk to aerate the mixture.

Heat peanut oil until very hot.

With wet hands, make small round balls of bean mixture, dropping carefully into the oil. You may want to use a slotted spoon to drop into the oil to protect your hands from splashing oil.

Fry the balls for about 5 minutes then dry on paper toweling.

On market day I tie on my pagne, my skirt, which Grandmother has dyed a bright blue. My blouse is yellow with a ruffle around the collar. Mother ties a red hawli on her head. She takes a basket of onion balls to sell.

I put a rope around Sunjata so I can lead him to the market.

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