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The northern part of Nigeria is known for a variety of things, ranging from their dance-steps, songs to dressing, food. Their way of life also can be quite interesting.
Often times, lots of people who visit the north always look forward to the taste of their foods and drinks. Chief of these drinks is the ‘Kunu’. This drink is peculiar to the north even though other tribes also prepare and consume it. Kunu is a grain beverage that can be served chilled or otherwise. It can also be sipped with other snacks of choice.
Health benefits of Kunu
Aside from its amazing taste, Kunu also provides the body with vital body nutrients and helps to prevent certain diseases. Several of these benefits are:
- The millet content drink helps reduce the chances of diabetes.
- It quenches thirst and prevents dehydration. The drink which also consists of water does the work of an appetizer.
- It helps women (lactating mothers and women in menopause years) to relax their muscles.
- It is good for treating heart disease conditions. One of its major ingredients contains a poly nutrient called lignin that also helps to fight cancer.
- It assists in fighting chronic inflammatory diseases which includes rheumatoid arthritis
- Its richness in fibre helps in promoting a healthy digestive system
- It is a very good source of vitamin (especially vitamin B), proteins, and carbohydrates
- It prevents the blood from clotting and also lowers the cholesterol level
- The presence of ginger in the drink also helps with problems such as nausea, motion sickness, and pain
- It is important for weight loss and ensures a strong immune system
From the health benefits listed above, it is evident that the non-alcoholic drink is good for people of all ages, it is therefore important that everyone should learn how to prepare it with their own hands.
Several Kunu derivatives and their different characteristics
Kunu can be made from millet, guinea corn, and rice. It could also be made from tiger nut and sorghum. These different grains give different tastes and appearance (colour) when used. The one made from rice is milky light- brown in colour, while that from millet and maize is whitish in colour. Kunu Gyada is the Kunu drink prepared with rice, while Kunu Zaki is the one prepared with millet. Kunu aya is prepared from tiger nut.
How to make Kunu with rice
Popularly referred to as Kunu Gyada, Kunu with rice is made with milk and rice gruel. The procedure for making Kunu with rice can be likened to the procedure for making another popular Nigeria recipe commonly referred to as Ogi or Akam. To make the Kunu Gyada, you need to boil the groundnut milk and add it to the blended rice with the use of cool water.
Some of the ingredients used for making Kunu Gyada include water in its desired quantity, rice of choice, and raw groundnut or peanut. Another crucial ingredient that you can add is the tamarind (tsamiya) or lemon juice as the case may be. Note you can make use of any variety of rice, groundnut, and tamarind.
For better control over the procedure, it is advisable to make use of a blender that has very strong power. This makes the job of blending the soaked rice and groundnut easy.
Procedures for making Kunu Gyada
- Make sure to soak the rice for a minimum of 8 hours
- Do the same for groundnut for hours 3 instead
- Soak the tamarind of lemon juice in water until it is soft. Extract juice from the tamarind or lemon juice when it is soft
- Blend the already soaked groundnut with water and extract the groundnut milk
- Blend the rice with water
- Pour the extracted groundnut milk into a preheated pot
- Stir it often to make sure that lumps don’t form at the base of the pot, and that it doesn’t stick to the base of the pot
- Add the blended rice to the boiling groundnut milk and make sure to stir it
- Add tamarind of lemon juice after some time
- Stir until you feel satisfied and serve
How to make Kunu with millet
Some individuals prefer Kunu made from millet because of the distinctive taste and colour of the final product. Unlike the other types of Kunu, Kunu from millet can be styled to various tastes and its taste can also be enhanced with sugar and other such ingredients.
Ingredients needed to make Kunu with millet include:
- Millet in the desired quantity
- Ginger and chopped potato in their desired quantity
Feel free to add any other such ingredients that you think might boost the taste and appearance of your Kunu.
- First of all, you need to carefully pick out likely dirt and stones from the millet and soak the certified millet in water overnight. This is to make sure that the millet gets fermented before taking it to the mill.
- Separate the milled millet from the other ingredients and rinse separately
- Pour some contents of the milled millet into the bowl containing the ingredients; likewise, scoop some ingredients into the bowl containing the milled millet. Stir and make sure you have a perfect blend of the two mixtures before adding hot water.
- Add hot water to the mixtures to have either of two effects. If the water does not thicken the millet, it indicates that the millet is still raw and that you need to put the content on fire and boil till it thickens, but if it shows sign of thickness after adding hot water or after boiling, leave it to rest for up to 3 hours before stirring
- Let it cool and watch it transform from thick to watery
- Leave overnight to enable a fusion between the ingredients, sieve the chaff, and refrigerate
- Best served chilled
An alternative procedure to the above is:
- Soak the millet overnight and mill it with all other ingredients
- Separate the milled millet into two quantities; make sure that one quantity is greater than the other
- Pour hot water into the bowl containing the higher quantity of millet
- Wait for at least one hour, then mix the hot millet with the other millet you set aside
- Let it stay overnight in that condition to bring out the taste and reduce the thickness
- Filter it with a sieve to remove particles and serve chilled
How to make Kunu with guinea corn
Kunu made from guinea corn is called Kunu dawa (dawa- meaning guinea corn in Hausa language). The ingredients used here are:
- Guinea corn
- Sweet potatoes
Procedures for preparing Kunu dawa
- Remove dirt from the guinea corn and soak overnight
- Add all the ingredients and grind them
- Take a little quantity from the ground mixture and pour boiled water to the remaining larger mixture
- After about one hour or less, add the set-aside mixture and stir
- Leave to stay overnight to bring out the real taste of Kunu
- Filter and serve