How to make Kunun Aya (Tiger Nuts Milk)
Tiger nuts are abundant in Nigeria and I used to eat lots of them in my younger years. I have not had them in years till my friend reminded me of these great nuts.
Tiger nuts have a nutty milky taste. I can't even imagine anything that tastes like it. Not only do they taste nice, the nuts are jampacked with lots of health benefits.
To eat it as a snack, just chew and suck on the chaff then spit out the chaff. Some people swallow the chaff but it is quite difficult for me to swallow. Eat with peanuts (groundnuts) and the chaff will be softer and easier to swallow, this great tip was from Oluwayemisi and it works!
If you buy these nuts outside Nigeria, chances are that they will be dry. Soak them in plenty of cold water overnight before attempting to munch on them.
Another way to enjoy these nuts is to soak, blend and strain them to get the very delicious and refreshing Tiger Nuts Milk, known as Kunun Aya in Hausa and Horchata de Chufas in Spanish.
Ingredients for making Tiger Nuts Milk
- 600g soaked Tiger Nuts (475g dry Tiger Nuts)
- 1.5 litres cold water
Other ingredients you can add to it
Tiger Nuts Drink is an aphrodisiac, you will need some energy to "perform" after drinking it, so add the following when blending:
- Dates (Dabino in Hausa)
Even more ingredients!
To make it medicinal, add:
- To blend it, you'll need a kitchen blender. My blender has 600W power and it did a great job of blending the soaked nuts.
- To strain it you'll need a chiffon cloth or ladies stocking/tights (pantyhose without the panty).
Other names for Tiger Nuts
- Aki Awusa in Igbo
- Aya in Hausa
- Isip Isong in Efik/Ibibio
- Ofio in Yoruba
- Hausa Groundnut in Pidgin
- Keegun in Okun
- Chufas in Spanish
Check out this Facebook page below for more names of Tiger Nuts in other languages.
Where to buy Tiger Nuts
There are 2 varieties of tiger nuts: brown and black. Both are readily available in Nigeria but I think the brown ones are more common outside Nigeria. Both taste the same to me.
- In Nigeria, Tiger Nuts are sold by Hausa Mallams on the streets and in all major markets in Nigeria. You can also buy coconuts and dates (dabino) from them.
- In Spain, look for them in any Frutos Secos shop i.e. shops that sell dry fruits. Ask for chufas.
- In the UK you can buy them on Amazon UK website.
- In the US, you can buy them on Amazon US website.
Benefits of Tiger Nuts
- Tigernut oil is used in the cosmetic industry. As it is antidioxide (because of its high content in vitamin E) it helps slow down the ageing of the body cells. It favours the elasticity of the skin and reduces skin wrinkles.
- It supplies the body with enough quantity of Vitamin E, very essential for fertility in both men and women.
- See more health benefits of tiger nuts here.
Directions for making Tiger Nut Milk
- Soak the very dry nuts in a generous quantity of cold water for 2 days. Keep it in the fridge for the duration of the soaking so that the nuts do not ferment. Most tiger nuts sold in Nigeria are fresh and well hydrated so you'll only need to soak those ones for a few hours or overnight.
- After the soaking, wash the nuts very well and sort out the bad ones.
- Put them in your kitchen blender and pour just enough water to help the blades move. We need to make this milk as concentrated and tasty as possible, you can add more water later if you wish.
- At this time you can add other ingredients: coconut, sugar, ginger and other flavours of your choice and blend them together. I prefer anything I eat/drink as natural as possible so I do not add any other ingredient to this drink. The natural taste of Tiger Nut Milk is so great, you do not want to alter it at all.
- After blending, use a chiffon cloth or ladies stocking (pantyhose) to separate the chaff from the drink. Of course, the pantyhose should be brand new, thoroughly washed with dish washing liquid.
- Press the stocking to make sure you squeeze out all the milk from the chaff.
- Put the dry chaff back in the blender, add more water and blend again. Then strain with the chiffon cloth.
- Repeat the process till all the milk has been extracted. I found that the milk I got the third time was too watery. So 2 times should be enough and keep an eye on the quantity of water. As a guide, I got 1.5 litres of tiger nut milk from 600g of soaked tiger nuts. Yours may vary.
- Pour the extracted milk into bottles and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. It should last longer in the freezer. In my home, this milk usually disappears within 2 days of making it, so I can't tell you how long it can stay in the freezer without losing its taste! lol
Serve Tiger Nuts Milk with any snack of your choice.