Kunnu Aya, Tiger nut milk
Kunnu aya, tiger nut milk is rich, nutty and creamy and is called nectar from the ground or Drink of the gods. It is made from Tiger nut. From Nigeria where it is called kunnu aya or Aya milk to Spain, where it is known as Horchata de Chufas, it is deliciously enjoyed. Also made in parts of Latin America and the Middle east.
Many types of non-dairy milk are available, some are made from nuts, grains etc, eg. almond, soy, rice, coconut and tiger nuts. Tiger nut is not actually a nut but a tuber, a mini tuber. It tastes and feels like soft coconut, but is sweeter.
There are so many reasons to make and drink kunnu aya. It is natural, tastes great, healthy, nutrient-rich, good for digestion, for relieving the bowel and it is very filling. Also, lactose and gluten free.
Tiger nuts are commonly sold in Nigeria in either the fresh or dry form. It is called aya in Hausa, ofio in Yoruba, and aki awusa (Hausa) in Igbo. Besides milk, it is used in making a local snack called Dakuwa. The oil and flour are both used for culinary purposes.
Flavourings for Kunnu aya, Tiger nut milk:
Coconut Dates (dabino) Dried ginger Dried chili pepper Alligator pepper Cinnamon Cardamom Pineapple Mango Citrus peel Banana Apple etc. Liquorice Zobo
To make Kunnu aya, Tiger nut milk:
1 cup Aya (Tiger nut) 3 cups water 10 dates, pitted Flavouring (optional)
If using the dry tiger nuts wash and soak them in water for 1-2 days, changing the water once during this period to rehydrate them.
If using the fresh ones, then there will be no need for soaking, just wash them.
Wash dry dates and soak in clean water for 2-5 hours to rehydrate and soften them.
Remove seeds and discard.
Put the tiger nuts, 1½ cups of water, dates with its soaking liquid, and flavouring into a blender. Blend till well grounded.
Strain using a very fine strainer, chiffon fabric, or cheesecloth into a large bowl or jug. I used a rubber band to hold it in place.
Put the tiger nut pulp back into the blender with the remaining 1½ cups of water, blend and strain into the bowl.
Serve cold or over ice cubes.
Store in the refrigerator.
- Soaked dry tiger nuts in water to rehydrate and get rid of antinutrients. Though the level of antinutrients present in Tiger nuts is much lower than other nuts.
- You can also use a new, clean handkerchief to strain your Kunnu aya.
- Use honey or sugar in place of the dates as a sweetener, add after straining the milk.
- Upon storage, the sediments settle at the bottom of the container. Just shake it and drink, this sediment contains flavour and nutrients.
- Use leftover pulp to make my Tigernut energy balls.
- Spread the leftover pulp in an airy place to dry. Use this Tiger nut pulp flour, a gluten-free flour.
- Use dried tiger nut pulp in place of desiccated coconut in some recipes.
- Toasted tiger nuts lightly in the oven before you for an extra toasty flavour profile.
You will also enjoy my Iced tea, Cashew juice, Virgin Pina Colada and Zobo drink. You can read 30 amazing facts about Tiger nut milk. Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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