One of the things I love about New York is that it makes me feel like an explorer. I’ll never forget the day I went for a long leisurely walk and happened upon a nondescript restaurant. The menu outside advertised Senegalese cuisine.
When I opened the door, I felt as if I had been transported to Dakar. The decor was beautiful and the music from the live band playing that night was on fire. That night, I had what I still refer to as the meal of my life. Everything was absolutely delicious. I enjoyed my meal along with the company of the other patrons.
At the end of the meal I was brought a curious dessert made with couscous called Thiakry. This dessert tasted absolutely divine. It was sweet from the pineapples and a little sour from the yogurt. I asked the waiter for the recipe and I couldn’t believe how simple it was to make.
I made a vegan version of the Thiakry today. I decided to make the recipe my own by adding roasted peanuts, cinnamon, and coconut flakes. Click here for this delicious recipe.
12oz bag all natural whole grain couscous
36ozs of cultured coconut yogurt-vanilla flavor (I used 6 containers of the Trader Joe’s brand)
6-8 cups of coconut milk (not the one that comes in the can) Use container brands like So Delicious or Trader Joe’s
¼ cup of vegan sour cream
1 bag of roasted coconut flakes (Trader Joe’s brand) If you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s you can just use regular coconut flakes and toast them lightly in the oven.
1 ½ tablespoons of Vanilla extract
½ cup of dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
1 ripe pineapple (cut into chunks)
1.5 tablespoons of Cinnamon
¼ to ½ a cup of coconut sugar or raw turbinado sugar (add sugar until it reaches your desired sweetness)
Put the couscous into a large bowl and pour in the coconut milk until it covers all of the couscous. You want to pour until the coconut milk is at least an inch to an inch and half over the level of the couscous.
Allow the couscous to sit in the bowl of coconut milk until the couscous has absorbed all of the liquid. This should take about 10-15 minutes. In fact you may find yourself pouring more coconut milk over the couscous because you want it to be slightly soupy in consistency.
When the couscous is ready add in the pineapple chunks, peanuts, coconut flakes, cinnamon, sugar, sour cream, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla. When adding the pineapples be sure to get as much of the juice into the bowl as possible. The juice also helps to make the Thiakry taste so good. I did this by cutting my pineapple over the bowl thus allowing the bowl to catch all of the pineapple juice. When you finished adding all of the ingredients to the couscous, stir everything together very well and let chill in the fridge for an hour or two.
After the Thiakry has chilled in the fridge remove it and test it for taste and consistency. You may find t yourself needing to add more coconut milk and/or sugar. Once you have ensured that the Thiakry is to your liking you can garnish it with more peanuts and pineapple chunks. Then serve and enjoy!