Hello blog family, I hope you had a Happy Valentine and don’t forget that Valentine can be a constant experience for you if you choose to give and receive love daily. By the way Happy New Year as well, may our ginger for 2018 not run dry;)
So our recipe for today and to kick off the year is the refreshing Kunun Aya drink also known as Tigernut drink. This creamy milk-like drink has a spicy nutty taste and is something you can’t get enough of – trust me – Kunun Aya is a drink on another level. Having lived in Northern Nigeria for a good part of my life, I had the opportunity to sample a number of Northern drinks like the infamous “Zobo Drink”, but Kunun Aya wins the number 1 prize for me. Not to forget my mum makes it so well, so it’s a great thing that I didn’t and still don’t spend most of my money buying it.
Tigernuts which is what the Kunun Aya drink is made from is known as “Aya” in hausa, “Aki hausa” (meaning Hausa groundnut) in igbo and “Ofio” in yoruba. There are two types usually sold and these are the dry tigernuts and the fresh tigernuts. In Spain, Tigernut drink is also known as “Horchata de chufa”.
Just to mention, tigernuts on their own are sweet but the level of sweetness is diluted when made into the drink, that’s why some people add natural or artificial sweeteners.
To make Kunun Aya, you can use either the fresh tigernuts, dry tigernuts or a combination of the two. When using the dry tigernuts, you have to pre-soak it so it’d regain moisture. Tigernuts are rich in minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. They’re also rich in vitamins E and C.
So enough talk and on to my recipe version of the Kunun Aya drink.
KUNUN AYA DRINK RECIPE
320grams (dry) aya – tigernuts, washed and pre-soaked
160grams coconut flesh
8 -10 dates (deseeded)
23grams fresh ginger, peeled
6 cups of warm water
- Combine half portion of all the ingredients in your blender or food processor.
- Blend on high speed for 5 minutes.(So as not to overwork your blender, pause blending for a few seconds every 90 seconds or so)
- Place straining cloth into sieve; place sieve on bowl. Pour moderate portions of blended mixture into cloth, wring cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as your muscles can muster. Repeat process until over. ( I normally do 4 to 5 batches of squeezes, just because that way I get more liquid and it’s easier to squeeze smaller portions)
- Repeat steps 1, 2 & 3 for the second half of the ingredients.
- Chill drink and serve once cool.
THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT THIS RECIPE
- If you are using dried aya – tigernuts then you need to rehydrate them before blending. Wash them thoroughly to remove dirt and stones. Then soak in water overnight; in your fridge if possible. Wash a few more times and they should be ready for use.
- If using dry dates follow the same process as you did for the aya – tigernuts. Then you can easily separate the moist flesh from the seed. I usually soak dates for a day or more depending on how large they are, as it takes a bit more time for the water to completely penetrate the flesh.