Fura de Nono translates to ground millet balls and milk respectively in Hausa. It is a staple dish very popular in the northern part of Nigeria usually taken as lunch. It is a delicious and refreshing beverage that evolved empirically some centuries ago by allowing milk to sour at warm temperature.
Depending on the consistency, the product is used as food,refreshing drink or weaning food for infants. It is sold by Fulani ladies usually found at various places in town with their calabashes which hold their milk and another for fura balls. It is translated in Fulani language as (Kossam bei Chobbal) Orders are mixed in smaller calabashes,the vendor mashes the fura balls into the milk just before serving with calabash spoons and the buyer has the choice of adding sugar or not. The fura balls are made from millet flour which has been spiced with ginger, cloves,sometimes even pepper and a host of other spices and ingredients (depending on one’s preference) and the Nono is the actual milk of a cow.
Fura de Nono is a highly nutritious beverage which is a two-in-one product. It’s a combination of fermented cow milk with ground millet mixed with a host of other ingredients. The cow milk is usually collected early in the morning before being locally pasteurized. This is done by boiling to a certain level so that whatever contaminants found inside are eliminated, the milk is then left to cool, once this happens, the fermentation occurs spontaneously without starter cultures at ambient temperature.
The fermented milk is then churned using a wooden ladle. Fat accumulates as a result of the churning,the curd separates from the whey and it is removed. The curd is then skimmed off and used in preparation of local cheese or butter while the excess whey is drained off to obtain a product with a thick consistency which is the Nono, usually consumed with Fura alone. The mixture of fermented milk and cooked spiced millet is almost a complete food with milk serving as a source of protein while the cooked spiced millet provides energy. The sour taste is suited for quenching thirst and dousing the effect of spicy foods .
Fura de Nono does not however appeal to a majority of people because of the apparent unhygienic conditions in which it’s prepared and it’s poor shelf life. Hence, giving rise to the modernized fura de Nono .
This can be found in modern food joints, popularly known in the north such as Habib Yoghurt, Yahuza suya spot to name a few . For example, Habib are known for their sumptuous creamy yoghurts locally made by them.This yoghurt usually comes in small rubber sizes, on order, a rubber of yoghurt is usually poured down into the blender along with a ball of cooked spiced millet balls, it is then blended slightly to properly mash the fura balls into the yoghurt and being extra careful not to completely smash the whole ball so as to get the chunks of the fura balls in the yoghurt. Sugar may or may not be added before blending, depending on the buyers choice. The finished product is then transferred into a polythene bag and it is best served chilled and fresh .
This meal has been compromised in so many ways as people often add grated coconut or date palms to it. However served, fura de Nono is a delicious and filling meal. But this modernized fura de Nono cannot be compromised with the original fura de nono sold by Fulani ladies by the road side. It has been simply modernized to make it more hygienic and for safe consumption. One really enjoys the sweet and sour creamy mix.
MODE OF PREPARATION:
400 grams millet flour
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
Pinch of salt
1-1/4 cups of water
Your choice of raw milk, yoghurt or heavy creamed milk (kindirmo) Sugar (optional).
Whole grain millet is processed to flour using a mortar. The grains get pounded with a little bit of water to loosen chaff. After blowing it off, the hulled millet is then pounded and sifted to get millet flour. ( or you can easily get your already processed millet flour )
If you want the fura balls to be more spicy, you can add the quantity of your spices to this recipe
In a large bowl, mix the millet flour with all your spices.Add water to the flour mixture a little at a time until a thick paste is formed. You might need all the water or a bit more Shape the millet paste into small balls, size of golf balls
Place the balls in a pot, add some water and let them boil for about 30 minutes. You want the balls to be throughly cooked, after 30 minutes, break a ball to see if it’s cooked or raw. If it’s raw, leave to boil till it’s throughly cooked. The cooking duration depends ultimately on the size of your balls
After the millet balls have been cooked, place them in a mortar and pound them into a paste. This is to make the balls even in texture and easy to break later on ( a standard mixer or a food processor can also be used)
Shape the cooked millet paste into balls again. Roll the balls in some millet flour to coat them and keep them from sticking to each other. Your cooked spiced millet balls is done.
To eat, pour your chosen dairy into a bowl, place your millet balls inside and mash with a calabash spoon to form a thick paste. Sweeten it with sugar if you want. Alternatively, one can adopt the modern way of pouring yogurt in a blender along with the fura balls and blend slightly into Fura da Nono.
Nutritional value of Fura de Nono:
Fermented milk contains probiotics which are live microbial food supplements that benefits the health of consumers by maintaining or improving their intestinal microbial balance. Lactic acid in fermented milk breaks down lactose into glucose and galactose in lactase
Lactose intolerant people can consume fermented milk product because of its lower lactose content and availability of live probiotics. The cancer and cholesterol lowering properties of fermented milk are accrued from probiotic bacteria. Millet has heart protective properties e.g. Elecrtrolactone that is said to protect against breast and other hormone dependent cancers as well as heart diseases. Millet does not feed pathogenic yeast,acts as a prebiotic to feed important microflora in your inner ecosystem.
Millet Provides serotonin to calm and soothe our moods, hydrates your colon to keep our regular, its alkaline and digests easily. It is also full of nutrients our body needs such as magnesium to help reduce the effects of migraines and heart attacks. Niacin (vitamin b3) which helps lower cholesterol Fiber which has been shown to protect against breast cancer Phosphorus which helps with Fat metabolism , body tissue repair and creation of energy Millet has been shown to help lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Whole grains have been shown to protect against childhood asthma. By and large, fura de Nono is full of so many nutrients such as Calcium,Manganese,Tryptophane,Phosphorus,Fiber,B vitamins ,Anti oxidants e.t.c which helps in the growth and development of the body.