How to make Nigerian Kunun zaki

Kunun zaki

This recipe is a variation of a Greenstone recipe as originally submitted by: J O Olajide, Department of Food Science and Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria.

Kunun zaki, a non-alcoholic beverage produced from millet and spices (ginger, cloves, red and black pepper) the method of preparation of the drink is described below.


  • 4 cups de-hulled millet
  • 1 teaspoon each (ginger, cloves, grain of paradise and black peppercorn)
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Other:
  • Large bowl, Sieve


  • Place the millet in a large bowl and cover with water. leave for 24hours. 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.
  • 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 kunun zaki

The lovely Ozoz of Kitchen Butterfly shared the recipes for  Kunnu Gyada ( Rice kunnu) and Kunnu aya (Tiger nut kunnu) .

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By |December 4th, 2012|36 Comments


  1. Yole Omuta. July 17, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the recipe.

  2. Ademola Jesutomi March 25, 2017 at 11:58 am - Reply

    There is no potatoes In the ingredients listed above for the kunun, those it mean that we don’t need potato for it

  3. Sola. October 7, 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

    @chi Grain of paradise is called alligator pepper in the market.
    Pls can I use Irish potatoes instead of sweet potatoes. Urgent please

  4. chi October 5, 2016 at 1:56 am - Reply

    What is cloves and grain of paradise? ? Please can you put up their picture for easy recognition.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 6, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      You can find pictures of both on google.

  5. Sola. October 2, 2016 at 8:04 am - Reply

    Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Pls can you include pictures of the ingredients used(for easy recommendation in the market) and if possible let have the video of the process. Thanks a lot, remain bless.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 2, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

      Noted. Thanks for the recommendations.

  6. Opeyemi September 15, 2016 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Hi, I found your blog enlightening. I have tried to make kunu with millet, after blending I poured the boiling water and it did not solidify. Hence, I put it on the fire under a moderate heat and it solified lightly. Was I right? Will my style rubbish the outcome? I look forward to your insightful reply. Thanks.

  7. Mercy June 29, 2016 at 12:38 am - Reply

    Am going to try it today,may God help me

  8. Moses Ijeoma April 2, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Am very grateful for this, God bless you

  9. Nike March 29, 2016 at 11:26 am - Reply

    I would appreciate if you can describe or write how to prepare kunun and sobo in Yoruba language for easy understanding. i enjoy kunun and sobo a lot but don’t know how to prepare it. especially the quantity of ginger and other spices to get correct taste. Thanks a lot.

  10. Akinnuga December 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    I want to commercialize this product in my area here but I’ve not done it before. Foodie Prof pls I’ll like u to tutor me pls. My whatsapp is 08135491623

  11. Hi tee October 8, 2015 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Please what else can use apart from millet seed? Because am not in Nigeria and I don’t think I can get that here please

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 8, 2015 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Where do you live? you can get millet almost anywhere in the world.

  12. Larrykay June 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    @ Sarah: That’s the universal way of making Kunnun Zaki. However, if you have a modified way, you can teach us and we will appreciate this a lot. My amiable professor just gave us the recipe and methodology. All thanks to you sir.

  13. kennyforlan May 21, 2015 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    i need som1 to teach me, any contact?

  14. Sara March 28, 2014 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Hi 9jafoodie, I grew up drinking kunun zaki and I’m sorry but this is not how it is made. For one thing its so thick it looks like pap. If you’re interested I can send you the proper northern recipe for kunun zaki. Btw I love the fact that you represent most if not all naija food especially northern food. I saw the picture of masa on your instagram and it just reminded me of home. Do you have ‘kasko’? The pan used for masa as I noticed it looks more like masa than the post on your blog. God bless your efforts.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 28, 2014 at 6:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Sara, thank you very much for taking the time to comment. This recipe was verified by two people who grew up on Zaki. I am curious on how you made it growing up, please send us an email with your recipe. The end result isn’t thick, I am not sure the picture appears that way.

      For masa- I found something very similar to a Kasko on Amazon.

    • Emma July 15, 2014 at 8:01 am - Reply

      my thoughts exactly, we drink kunun alot back home
      and i make for my cousins here in lagos.
      Guess there are different way of preparation.
      Keep up the good work @9jafoodie

      • 9jafoodie
        9jafoodie July 17, 2014 at 9:56 pm - Reply

        Indeed there are lots of ways to cook …. Thanks thanks

  15. cj events January 22, 2014 at 4:59 am - Reply

    Wat does it mean de-hulled millet. Cos I see millet in d mkt, tot any one goes

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie January 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Millet without shaft. That’s the type they sell in most markets.

  16. gracy March 11, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Would like to try this recipe…..but do i have to use de hulled millet or can i use the hulled millet?

  17. Lavido December 23, 2012 at 6:05 am - Reply

    I. Would love to try this recipe,however reading it just makes me want to bring out my dictionary and thesarus rather than cooking utensils;gelatinization?, supernatant? Come on!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 23, 2012 at 8:14 am - Reply

      lol…The recipe was originally written by a professor, hence the big words. If you look past that it’s a pretty easy recipe….. pleaseeeeee try it 😀

  18. ArabianPrincess December 7, 2012 at 5:24 am - Reply

    Nice but not sure I have the energy to try this very soon. BTW, Thot U and our aunty ‘omoalata’ said peppercorns aint sold in Naija, where we go see am buy now?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 23, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

      It doesn’t grow in Nigeria but it is sold in Nigeria.

  19. Prism December 4, 2012 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    I have to try this.

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