Simple Way To Make Nigerian Kunun Zaki At Home

Kunun is a traditional beverage drink produced from cereal grains such as Sorghum, Millet and Corn.Some people even use rice to make Kunun but I believe it does not make any sense if what you intend to do is sell. How would you make profit out of that? Rice is not cheap in this part of the world. Kunun is mostly consumed in the northern part of Nigeria where these cereals are majorly cultivated.

As I write this article, I can remember how we used to keep some money in our secondary school days to buy cold Kunun zaki after school hours and drink with straw as we walk home. I still love it till today but I was always scared of buying it because I was not sure of the production hygiene. Now, I make it easily whenever I need it. I store in the refrigerator for days too.

kunun zakiActually, there are different types of Kunun that exists; they are four (4) in number;

  1. Kunun Tsamiya
  2. Kunun Zaki
  3. Kunun Gyada
  4. Kunun Kanwa

About Kunun zaki and How To Make It

The most common one that we see around and buy is the Kunun zaki, I can confirm that to us. I am still trying to investigate the difference between these “Kununs” and feed you back once I get something meaningful. My guess is that they are names after the type of cereal being used. Kunun zaki is a non-alcoholic drink. It is served as a refreshing drink in homes and some social gatherings.

Ingredients & Material Needed

  • Grains (millet, sorghum or maize)
  • Spices (cloves, black pepper, red pepper, ginger)
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Blender or mill
  • Sieves
  • Bottles and crown corks

How to prepare it

  • Take 4 cups of the grain you decide to use for the Kunun and put in a bowl of water (use grains with hulls removed)
  • Leave the grains inside the water for 12hours and discard the water. Some say they use 24 hours but I prefer this so that the maize does not start to ferment or grow.
  • Put the grains and all the spices in a blender, blend into a very smooth puree
  • Sieve the resultant puree and throw away the shaft left. You may add some water to make sieving easier.
  • You should now leave this smooth puree for some hours to settle. After this, throw away the water over the settled puree or slurry.
  • Divide the mixture into two parts (Part one should be two thirds of the mixture, and the other part, one third of it).
  • To the first part, add a small quantity of water, then add boiling water in a ratio of 4 cups of water to 1 part of the slurry. The hot water will make the slurry become a little gelatinized.
  • Mix the second part with cold water in a ratio of 3 cups of water to 1 part of slurry and add this to the first part above.
  • You should now mix these two parts together with your sugar (to taste) to get your sweetened Kunun zaki.

Kunun zaki is usually enjoyed cold, therefore, you may want to divide into bottles, cover with crown corks and store inside the refrigerator.


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Ahmed Ogundimu
Ahmed is a Food Scientist/Technologist first of all. A Seasoned Blogger, Astute Marketer, Food Enthusiast and Manchester United Lover. I read anything and everything available so I know so many useful and useless things.


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  1. Nice piece here, thank you. Jus want to add that in addition to d 4 kunus listed there’s also kunun aya (tiger nuts) drink.its also very nutritious and refreshing.

  2. As per d ingredients listed, u can also add peeled dried sweet potatoe, this is usually grinded 2gether wit d grains and spices

  3. Nice. There’s a more nutritious kind of kunu that is essential for our bodies. It’s also in the class of Kunun Zaki. It’s made of guinea corn, groundnut,Aya (in hausa) and Siro (rice that is germinating). No need 4 sugar and it’s really sweet. My Aunt supplies a hospital in Jos with this Kunu.

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