Tiger Nut Pudding

Atadwe Milkye/Ataanme Nmliche/Atagbe Meky

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    4

    servings

Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

Ghanaians favor tiger nut tubers raw as a snack food. That is one way to eat them—simply spitting out the fiber after chewing them and sucking out the wonderful sweet milky juice. There is also a wonderfully rich pudding in Ghana made from tiger nuts ground together with rice and sugar, then strained repeatedly, cooked, and chilled. Delightful for anyone, but especially a great choice for the lactose intolerant! When I asked Barbara to teach me to make it, she reminisced about serving this pudding to Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, and his family in 1999. She served it in crystal champagne glasses with fresh fruit.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tiger nuts*
  • ¼ cup white rice flour or white rice
  • ⅛ to ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup sugar (or to taste)
  • A few drops of food coloring (optional)
  • Milk or cream for serving (optional)

Special equipment

  • Cheesecloth

Method

Directions

  1. Remove any shriveled or discolored tiger nuts and rinse them well several times. If desired, let them soak in water in a nonreactive bowl (plastic, glass, ceramic, stainless steel) for a few hours in the refrigerator and then rinse and drain again. (If they are very fresh this extra soaking is not necessary.)
  2. When ready to make the pudding, drain off the water from the tiger nuts, rinse once more, and drain again.
  3. Put the tiger nuts and the white rice (if using; if using rice flour, do not add at this point) into a food processor and add 1 cup of water. Grind/pulse the nuts and rice several minutes until they are fine and powdery (similar to ground almonds). Use a spatula to push down the mixture a few times if necessary.
  4. Scrape the ground mixture into a nonreactive bowl. Add another ½ cup water to the bowl of the food processor to rinse as much of the dregs out of the processor as possible. Mix the water into the tiger nut mixture. If using already ground rice flour, stir it in at this point.
  5. Place a folded cheesecloth over a metal strainer that is over another bowl. Scrape the tiger nut mixture into the cheesecloth, then gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and twist and squeeze as much liquid as possible into the bowl. Open the cheesecloth (still over the strainer) and pour cup of water into the cheesecloth, and then squeeze it again to force as much “milk” as possible into the bowl again. Discard the “dregs” of the nuts.
  6. After the final straining, pour the “milk” into a heavy nonreactive metal pot (e.g., stainless steel), and add a very little salt to taste (begin with teaspoon), and about cup sugar (also to taste—Ghanaians tend to prefer less sugar than North Americans). Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, but do not let it boil. It will thicken in a few minutes. Immediately remove it from the heat and pour or ladle it into 4 serving dishes.

To serve

For a lovely presentation, use clear glass dishes that will show off three layers nicely. Then first divide the pudding into three other bowls and immediately stir a few drops of red food coloring in one, then a few drops of yellow food coloring in another, leaving one bowl the natural off-white color. Quickly layer the three colors into the glass dishes. Allow to cool, and serve topped with evaporated milk, whipped cream, and/or fresh fruit.

Variations

In Ghana this pudding is sometimes colored and flavored with “black jack,” a licorice or aniseed flavoring.