kunun aya deluxe, sugar cane-Tigernut drink
Kunun aya deluxe is taking your regular kunun aya, tiger nut drink and making it insanely nectareous and decadent. An irresistible level of sweet, spicy, flavoursome and goodness, even somewhat sensual if you ask me. (ok enough already).
I love when I can take a basic recipe and turn it into something luxurious. This recipe was given to me by Halima, the pretty Hausa lady I buy most of my indigenous northern Nigerian food ingredients. Halima is so knowledgeable about northern Nigerian food, I never leave her shop in a hurry.
The special ingredients here are Jaggery (pure cane sugar) and fresh sugar cane. Jaggery called Mazarkwaila in Hausa is not just sweet but tastes like nectar and is healthier than ordinary sugar.
The tiger nuts, aya are used dry, no soaking to rehydrate, the hydrate tiger nut will not give the same intensity of flavour. Soak the dry dates long enough to peel off the flesh to remove the seeds. I always use the commercial grinders to process this. I go early in the morning to supervise the washing of the grinders and take clean water along with me. A powerful blender or food processor should work as well. Making Kunun aya deluxe takes some work but it is worth every effort. See note below.
Tamarind juice balances the sweetness of kunun aya deluxe. This makes about 12 cups of juice.
To make Kunun Aya deluxe
3 1-foot long fresh sugar cane 1 Jaggery cake 30 pieces dates 2 cups dry tiger nuts (aya) 2 tablespoons cloves 5 pieces dry root ginger 1 coconut Tamarind juice
Wash and cut sugar cane into small pieces.
Break up the jaggery.
Soak dates to soften enough to remove seeds.
Wash tiger nuts, cloves and root ginger.
Break open coconut and cut into pieces.
Using a heavy duty grinder, put all in the grinder, leaving out the sugar cane.
Grind using 2 cups of water.
Grind sugar cane separately.
If using a kitchen grinder, grind them in small batches.
Empty into a bowl add 2-3 more cups of water and stir.
Place a sieve over another clean bowl and sieve the mixture, pressing out as much juice as you can with the back of a spoon.
Rinse out the first bowl and cover with a chiffon cloth (cheesecloth), pour the juice into the cloth and squeeze well.
Add your tamarind juice if using.
- Dry root ginger is quite potent so do not add too many pieces.
- The tiger nut flavour will not be as intense if soaked to rehydrate, all the same, if you don’t have access to a heavy duty grinder, rehydrate before grinding.
- I have the sugarcane sellers peel the sugar cane for me, I rinse in salted water and freeze. Freezing makes cutting up a lot easier.
- I use 2 tablespoon tamarind juice per cup of Kunun aya deluxe.
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