How to Make Kunun Zaki (Millet Gruel)

Updated: Dec 18, 2021
By Fatima Sani
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Today, I have come with another northern Nigerian drink for you – Kunun Zaki; Kunu means ‘pap’ the letter ‘n’ is added at the end of the word to show possession; and Zaki meaning ‘sweet’, together we have Kunun Zaki literarily translated as ‘pap for sweet’. Absurd right? Of course yes, but not its sweetness. In this article, I will be sharing with you my expertise in the preparation of Kunun Zaki. Stay with me.

It is worth noting that Southern Kaduna usually called Chongais and called by Hausas ‘Katafawa’ are best known for the making of this recipe. If you have tasted theirs, you will attest to this fact. Anyways, without making you wait for long, let’s quickly get into business!

Equipment for Making Kunun Zaki

2 bowls


Cooking pot



You will need the following ingredients to make Kunun Zaki

3 cups of millet

Sugar to taste

2 liters of water

Spices (dried ginger, dried pepper, and cloves (kaninfari).

Now that you know the ingredients, let’s dive into its preparation:

Procedure for Preparing Kunun Zaki

STEP 1: Pick up dirt from the millet.

STEP 2: Pour the millet into a bowl or a container and wash it with water thoroughly and drain the water. Then;

STEP 3: Pour in another fresh water and allow to soak for 6 hours. If you wish to prepare this drink in the morning, you could soak it overnight. That will do just fine.

STEP 4: By now, the millet is a bit softer than its original state. Now wash the millet again and drain the water.

STEP 5: Add ginger, pepper, and cloves (kaninfari)

STEP 6: Advisably, grind it using a blender if it is in small quantity. However, for large quantities, grind it using a grinding machine (injin nika) in the Hausa language. Grind it until it turns to paste.

STEP 7: Separate the pastes into two different bowls and add a little water to both of them.

STEP 8: Over medium heat, place a clean pot and add water to it. Allow to boil.

STEP 9: Pour the hot water into the first bowl and stir it immediately (this is to avoid forming lumps) until it is thick as if you are preparing pap.

STEP 10: Cover it well and allow cooling. After cooling, add the bowl containing the second paste into it and stir it.

STEP 11: Pour it into a cheesecloth and sieve it. Then;

STEP 12: Add cold water and sugar to your taste.

STEP 1: Ta-da! Your Kunun Zaki is ready!

How to Serve Kunun Zaki

Kunun Zaki is poured into jugs and served in cups. You could take it with Cincin, Fankasau, Dublan, or Buns, some even take it with bread. Because of its cheapness also, unskilled labourers love to take it together with bread to save money.

Occasions to Serve Kunun Zaki

Well, Hausas usually don’t use this drink for occasions or festivals. However, Southern Kaduna serves this in almost all of their occasions, gatherings, festivals, etc.

How to Store Kunun Zaki

Advisably, make this recipe in the quantity you can consume now as it does not last for more than 24 hours unrefrigerated. Regardless, the moment its taste changes to sour, discard it.

On the contrary, it can last for a few days if refrigerated, but its sweetness is greatly altered.

Nutritional Value of Kunun Zaki

Kunun Zaki has the potential to improve the digestive system, protect the heart, improve respiratory health, manage diabetes, and detoxify the body as millet is the major constituent. It also contains a good mix of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin A (beta-carotene), iron, and potassium because of the cloves (kaninfari in it).

For more health benefits of Kunun Zaki, visit Health Guide Nigeria.


Now that you know how to make Kunun Zaki (Millet Gruel), you should try making it for your consumption or your family. As a Hausa person, you could try serving it on that occasion of yours that is coming soon or a festival for a change. People like positive changes you know, so surprise them.

If you find this article helpful, please leave a comment in the comments section below. Thank you.

You are always welcome to Northpad Nigeria for more local Northern Nigerian delicacies.

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