Kunu Zaki: A Nigerian Drink Recipe

Kunu (koo-nu) is a popular local Northern Nigerian drink made from grains such as millet, rice or sorghum.  Kunu is a spicy and nutty drink that is taken across Nigeria due to its natural sweetness.

Kunu Zaki is the variation of the local drink that is made from millet while Kunu Gyada is made from rice. Kunu can also be made with maize/ corn as well. However, preparation of this drink takes about  1-2 days. This is because it is left to soak in water so as to trigger the process of fermentation.

Kunu is not just an ordinary drink but a drink with a lot of nutritional benefits.

  • The millet used in preparing kunu contains a polynutrient called lignam which has cancer fighting properties and is beneficial in the treatment of heart disease.
  • Kunu is also known to reduce the risk associated with diabetes. Kunu is also good for women that have reached the stage of menopause as it helps in relaxation of muscles.

  • The ginger present in kunu helps to relieve digestive problems such as nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain.
  • Kunu is also recommended for nursing mothers as it helps to increase the flow of milk due to the ginger content, it lowers the cholesterol level and prevents the formation of blood clots.
  • Kuno also contains fibre, which helps in the smooth digestive system.
  • It helps in the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Kunu is also rich in protein, carbohydrates and vitamins especially vitamin B.
  • The sweet potatoes which is one of the ingredients for the production of kunu contains about 100-1,600 micro-grams of vitamin A . As it helps to raise the blood levels of vitamin A which is essential for pregnancy and lactation. The content of magnesium and potassium make sweet potatoes in to regulate proper maintenance of the heart, management of stress and controlling of blood sugar level among other nutritional benefits.

To make Kunu Zaki, here’s what you need; 

  • 4 cups de-hulled millet
  • 1 teaspoon each (ginger, cloves, grain of paradise and black peppercorn)
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Sweet potatoes (Fresh)
  • Large bowl
  • Sieve/ Cheese cloth

To make Kunu Zaki;

  • Place the millet in a large bowl and cover with water. leave for 24 hours. Discard the water and wash the millet thoroughly.
  • Place the millet and spices in a blender, puree until very smooth
  • Add some water to the pureed mixture (just enough to make sieving easier). Sieve the mixture and discard the resulting shaft. You can also use a cheese cloth.
  • Allow the slurry to settle for three to five hours and decant the supernatant (clear liquid above the sediment). The resulting settled mixture should be thick
  • Divide the mixture into two parts (Part A should be two thirds of the mixture, and Part B, one third).
  • Mix Part A with a small quantity of water and add boiling water to a ratio of 4 cups of water to 1 part of slurry for partial gelatinization of the slurry.
  • Mix Part B with cold water in a ratio of 3 cups of water to 1 part of slurry.
  • Thoroughly combine the two slurries (Part A and Part B) and add sugar to taste. The product obtained is the kunu zaki.
  • Add ice cubes to chill the drink.

Voila! Your highly delicious Kunu Zaki drink is ready. Comments, people?

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