Thiacry, or steamed millet couscous, is a Senegalese dessert found primarily in French-speaking West African nations. It is Chef Marie-Claude Mendy's favorite dessert.
1 fresh vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups grey millet couscous (available in ethnic grocery stores or at Teranga)
5 cups water
1 tsp. ground nutmeg or mace
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sour cream
1 cup light cream
1/2 cup piña colada (purchase at grocery store) or 1 can unsweetened evaporated milk
2 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 Tbs. dry golden raisins
1 tsp. powdered sugar
Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and place in the sugar to give the sugar a vanilla flavor. The longer you leave it there, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be. (Chef Mendy does this a month in advance!)
Pour couscous into a large bowl. Add 5 cups water, or enough water to cover the couscous. Cover and soak for 30 minutes. Remove any excess water and microwave for five minutes. (If you don’t have a microwave you can pour boiling water onto the millet, or steam it.)
Once the couscous has cooled, add mace or nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of vanilla sugar, and mix.
In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, light cream, and piña colada or evaporated milk, and whisk together. Add the rest of the mace or nutmeg and the rest of the cinnamon while whisking. Then add vanilla extract and the rest of the vanilla sugar (if desired – the dish is not supposed to be too sweet), and keep whisking.
Pour the millet couscous into the same bowl and whisk it all together.
Pour into glasses, and top with golden raisins and a sprinkle of nutmeg and powdered sugar.
Serves: 4 to 6
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