Prior to my first visit to the Northern part of Nigeria, the only type of Kunu drink i knew was Kunun Zaki. But after staying there for a while, i got exposed to the other types such as kunun aya (made from Tigernuts) and kunu gyada which is made from groundnuts and sometimes sprinkled with rice. On the streets, Tigernuts 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. Kunu Aya is a traditional creamy milk like beverage with a spicy nutty taste…..you’d definitely get hooked once you try it. In spain, tigernut drink is also known as “horchata de chufa”. To make kunu 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.
How to make kunun Aya “Horchata de chufas”- Tigernuts Milk drink
• Region : Northern Nigeria
• Misc : Serve cold
Step 3: With a Pap/Cheese cloth, strain the milk into a bowl. The first milk strained would be thick. Place the chaff back into the blender , add some more water, blend & strain again till the whole milk is extracted. The subsequent milk strained would be lighter than the first. It’s always better not to make the kunun aya too light.
Health benefits of Tigernuts
• It is recommended for those who suffer from indigestion, flatulence and diarrhoea because it provides digestive enzymes like the catalase, lipase and amylase. The high content of oleic acid has positive effect on cholesterol, thereby preventing heart attacks, thrombosis and activates blood content of soluble glucose. Tiger nut reduces the risk of colon cancer. It prevents constipation.
• Tiger nut contains a good quantity of vitamin B1, which assists in balancing the central nervous system and helps to encourage the body to adapt to stress.
• The milk supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E, essential for fertility in both men and women. Vitamin E also delays cell aging, improves elasticity of skin and helps to clear the appearance of wrinkles, acne and other skin alterations.
• In China, tiger nut milk is used as a liver tonic, heart stimulant, drank to heal serious stomach pain, to promote normal menstruation, to heal mouth and gum ulcers, used in Ayurvedic medicines and is a powerful aphrodisiac (sexual stimulant). The black species of the tiger nut is an excellent medicine for breast lumps and cancer. The tubers have a relatively high total antioxidant capacity, because they contain considerable amounts of water-soluble flavonoid glycosides.
• Consumption of antioxidants could protect the immune system of malnourished populations. The intake of antioxidant-containing foods may delay the progression of HIV infection to AIDS.
• For many years, the tiger nut tubers have been considered to have adequate properties to fight respiratory infections, and some stomach illnesses. To this date, the Tigernuts is considered an effective remedy for diarrhea, according to popular tradition in Valencia, Spain. It promotes the production of urine and this is why it is a preventive measure for cyst, prostrate, hernia, rectum deformation and prolapsed (anal feature-small painful flesh at the tip of the anus) and to prevent endometriosis or fibrosis as well as blockage of the tip of the fallopian tube – Source