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Kano State is located on what geographers refer to as the ‘High plains of Hausaland.’ This state has a landmass of approximately 21,000 square kilometres. It is located between latitude 12° 3′ N and longitude 8° 32′ E. Kano is about 900 kilometres away from the edge of the Sahara Desert and about 1,140 kilometres away from the Atlantic Ocean. It is bounded in the north and east by Jigawa State; in the west by Katsina State; in the southwest by Kaduna State and in the southeast, Kano State is bounded by Bauchi State.

Today, I’ll be sharing the recipe for Koko with you. Koko is the oldest beverage in Kano State. It is a popular street food that is usually eaten for breakfast.  It is a spicy, sour and smooth porridge that is made from soaked and ground millet. People acquire the taste for this beverage. Before sharing the recipe for this beverage, let me quickly add that koko is not a beverage that can be prepared in one day. This is because, millet, which is the primary ingredient for making this beverage must first be soaked and allowed to ferment before use. The fermented millet is the reason for the sourness of this beverage.


Corn meal or millet flour




Hot chili powder



How to Prepare

Get the cornmeal or millet flour. Please note that these are not as smooth as wheat or all-purpose flour. Add water to the flour to make a paste. Cover the paste and allow it to ferment for three days. Rinse and blend. Use a sieve to remove the chaff. This will eliminate dirt or any addictive from the millet or corn dough. Blend the cloves, ginger and pepper.

The next step is to scoop up about half cup of corn dough and place it in a pan. Afterwards, add one cup of cold water and crumble up the corn dough to make a smooth paste with the water. Turn on the heat to high and stir continuously. Add two cups of boiling water to the pot and bring the content of the pot to the boil whilst stirring continuously. At this point, the corn dough begins to thicken and form gelatinous looking lumps. It might help to keep a whisk handy; this would aid in smoothing out the porridge. Add a pinch of salt. Also add the blended ingredients. Stir and allow to simmer for about ten minutes on low heat. Turn off the heat.

Serve hot with sugar and if you want a touch of luxury, add evaporated milk. Kosai (bean cake) and bofrot (doughnut) are suitable accompaniments for this beverage.


Freda Muyambo, “Hausa Koko, Spicy Millet Porridge” The Spruce Eats,

Aliyu Salisu Barau, “The Great Attractions of Kano,” ResearchGate,

Featured image source: Adhom Home Cooking

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This article was first published on 7th August 2019


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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