Thiakry Recipe: Spiced Couscous Pudding from Gambia

Thiakry is a sweet, creamy couscous pudding that is a popular dessert in Gambia and also makes for a satisfying breakfast. It’s particularly delicious when topped with grilled pineapple!

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

Making Thiakry (Couscous Pudding)

This around-the-world cooking challenge has really broadened my pudding horizons. We’ve made all sorts of puddings, from Mahalabia to Krupicová Kaše to Cocada Amarela.

Now, to add to that list, is this pudding made from couscous. Thiakry is a typical Gambian dish that combines couscous with milk, yogurt and sour cream to create a creamy porridge-like texture.

It’s the kind of dish you could heavily sweeten and eat as an indulgent dessert. Or, like in this recipe, lightly sweeten and top with fruit for a satisfying breakfast.

Gambian Cuisine

Gambian food is not something I was familiar with before making this recipe. It’s cuisine is very similar to its West African neighbours. Peanuts, cassava, cabbage, fish, rice and black-eyed peas making up some of the nations most common ingredients.

The most common staple food served in a Gambian home is rice, which is normally served with spicy sauces or domoda, a peanut, tomato and onion paste. In terms of protein, fish, chicken and oysters are all very common.

Popular Gambian Vegetarian Dishes

  • Domoda– Peanut paste mixed with tomatoes, tomato paste, lemon juice, onions, cabbage, mustard and black pepper.
  • Akara– Fritters made of black-eyed peas that are grounded into flour then fried
  • Baobab Juice– A popular non-alcoholic drink made from the fruit of a baobab tree
  • Maafe– A stew made from ground peanuts
  • Thiakry– A sweet dish made from couscous mixed with milk, yogurt and spices

Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

How to make Thiakry- spiced cous cous pudding

Other than the 30 minutes chilling time for the cous cous pudding, this is one of the quickest and easiest dishes you could make. Get ahead by preparing it the night before, chilling it overnight in the fridge and you can wake up to it ready!

1. Cover couscous with boiling water for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

2. In a large bowl, whisk together plain yogurt, evaporated milk, sour cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, scraped vanilla pod and coconut sugar.

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

3. Stir in the couscous and chopped pineapple to the mixture. Put in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

4. Serve thiakry topped with grilled pineapple, yogurt and shredded coconut.

Ingredients for thiakry (Couscous Pudding)

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe
  • Cous cous- This recipe works best using dry semolina cous cous. You could also used hulled millet, which is also use to make thiakry in Gambia.
  • Dairy products- We used three types of dairy products, yogurt, milk and sour cream, for our thiakry. However, if you only have one of these on hand, feel free to just triple the quantity of it (although if you just use milk it may not turn out quite as creamy). If you want to make this dairy-free, simply sub for non-dairy substitutes.
  • Coconut sugar– Sub for any sweetener of your choice and adjust amount for your sweetness preference.

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

Serving suggestions for Thiakry

Thiakry is lovely served with grilled pineapple, shredded coconut and yogurt. However, you can serve this with any kind of fresh or dried fruit, including mango, banana or dried apricot.

Thiakry | Vegetarian Gambian Dessert Recipe

Thiakry: Spiced Cous Cous Pudding with Grilled Pineapple

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Thiakry is a sweet, creamy spiced couscous pudding from Gambia. Topped with yogurt, grilled pineapple and shredded coconut, it makes a satisfying breakfast.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar, or to taste
  • 1/2 pineapple, chopped into pieces

To serve:

  • Grilled pineapple
  • Yogurt
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Cover couscous with boiling water for 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together plain yogurt, milk, sour cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, scraped vanilla pod and coconut sugar.
  3. Stir in the couscous and chopped pineapple to the mixture. Put in fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve thiakry topped with grilled pineapple, yogurt and shredded coconut.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

Other African breakfast dishes to try

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How to make this thiakry recipe - spiced couscous pudding from Gambia
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I am on a mission to discover the BEST destinations & dishes from around the world. Whether it’s hopping on a plane or into the kitchen, come join the adventure!

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