The story behind Kunu and Udara (Kudara)
Tiger nut milk was always my go to drink during recess in secondary school. I remember my hostel mistress, Mrs Okunola, used to make tiger nut milk, which is also known as Kunu in Northern Nigeria, bottle it, and chill it in her freezer. Sometimes I’d buy a 1.7 liter bottle of this smooth and refreshing milk with a hint of ginger, and drink it all through recess, without a care in the world. Ahhhh, those were good times.
Udara on the other hand, or the fruit globally known as African star apple, was not always a favourite of mine. For some reason I can’t explain, I couldn’t eat it without getting the juice on my clothes, and if you know anything about this fruit, you’ll know that the juice stain doesn’t come off clothes. Bleach all you want, once it gets on your cloth, it’s there for the long haul. So far, i’ve only figured out how to get rid of the sticky sap when it’s stains your knives or blender jugs, (see tip for How to: Get rid of sticky Udara (African star apple) sap .) Now i’m all grown, udara has become one of my favourite fruits, second only to bananas.
So I decided to combine my favourite milk with my second favourite fruit, and the result……………… well, you’ll see for yourself when you try out this easy recipe. One thing I can say is that you’ll want to have a pitcher of this milk, chilling in your fridge on a hot day, like the endless ones we’re currently experiencing in my city. I know you’ll enjoy it.
Send me your questions and i’ll be sure to get back to you.
Prep time: 49 minute, Serves: 4
- Tiger nuts (3 cups, pre-soaked overnight)
- Udara [a.k.a African star apple a.k.a agablumo in yoruba (5 fruits, seeded with the pulp scooped out)]
- Coconut (1 cup, chopped)
- Fresh ginger (1 tablespoon, chopped)
- Maple syrup [1 and a quarter (1/4) cup)
- Water (2 cups)
- Vanilla extract (3 teaspoons)
- Cheese cloth (or a clean piece of chiffon material, for extracting the milk from the pulp)
- A pitcher and glasses for serving
- Firstly, thoroughly rinse out the tiger nuts. By doing this, you get rid of any dirt the nuts might have been exposed to in the market. Place the rinsed nuts in a bowl and add water that’s just enough to cover them. Place in a refrigerator, and leave to soak overnight. The reason you do this, is to help soften the nuts a bit, before they go in the blender.
- Carefully remove the meat of the coconut from its shell, and chop into small pieces. Make sure to save the coconut water. Peel and chop the ginger. Cut the udara into two equal halves, carefully remove the seeds, and with a spoon, scoop out the pulp of the fruit, and place in a bowl. This is the only part you’ll be needing. Discard the peel and seeds.
- Discard the water you used to soak the nuts. In a blender jug, place the tiger nuts, chopped coconut, Udara pulp,chopped ginger, and coconut water. Add half cup of water, and blend while slowly adding the rest of the water through the opening on the cover of the blender jug. If your blender is too small to blend all the ingredients at once, blend them in batches.
- Place a cheese cloth or a clean chiffon material, over a bowl. Make sure to secure the cloth at the sides, so it doesn’t fall into the bowl when you’re pouring the mixture on it. Pour some of the blended mixture on the cloth, just enough that won’t be difficult for you to squeeze. I’m sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this part of the process, but it’s very easy. If you’ve ever watched your mum squeeze out water from corn starch, when preparing pap, or if you’ve seen someone squeeze out the liquid from cheese using a cheese cloth, that’s exactly what you should do here, except you might want to squeeze a little harder so you can get out as much milk as possible. It is very important to note that you must have very clean hands all through this process, because at no point will you be applying heat, which will normally destroy any harmful germs. So very clean hands and utensils, is the way to go.
- To the freshly squeezed milk, add the vanilla extract for flavor, and maple syrup for added sweetness. If you’re going to serve it to kids, then you can a little more syrup, just to sweeten it a bit. Pour the milk in the pitcher, and chill for a few minutes in the refrigerator before serving. You might notice the milk separates into sediments after standing for a while. No worries, just shake it and serve.