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People of all ages enjoy sweets. For children, sweets have always been an irresistible treat. The confectioneries are in business because of children. Over the years, Nigerian children have enjoyed different items of confectionery like Goody Goody, Choco Milo, lollipops and chocolate candies. The increasing backlash against sugar and sweets has not succeeded in putting confectioneries out of business. This is because even though some parents withhold this delight from their children, sweets are still a vital treat in children’s birthdays. They are sold at the school canteen and at the mallam’s shop close to home. This makes it easy for kids to spend their lunch money on this contraband. But some kids have also learnt to make homemade sweets to satisfy their cravings. One of such homemade sweet is kankaran tsamiya.

Kankaran tsamiya is a local lollipop that originated from Northern Nigeria. It is a favourite of children in Plateau State. Kankaran tsamiya is essentially a frozen extract from the tsamiya (tamarind) fruit. Tamarind belongs to the same family as velvet tamarind. It has a sweet and sour taste. It is said to contain 6 grams of fibre, 3 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fat. This comes with a total of 287 calories. Kankaran tsamiya is easy to make. It is a great treat for a hot day. Why not make this for your children sometime?


Tamarind fruits


Method of Preparation

Peel and soak the tamarind fruits in lukewarm water. Please note that the quantity of water you use in soaking the tamarinds depends on how concentrated you want the kankaran tsamiya to be. When the fruits are soft, mash them up or rub in a sieve till you get a smooth puree. Please note that for best extraction, the seeds should be removed from the fruits before they are soaked.

Pour the mashed mixture through a fine sieve. Afterwards, pour the smooth extract into containers; ice cube trays are ideal containers for this lollipop. You can place toothpicks/sticks in each container to act as the lollipop sticks. However, in the absence of ice cube trays, transparent plastic bags can be used. Once you are through with packaging, place the container in the freezer. Wait for the content to freeze. When completely frozen, remove from the ice cube trays and enjoy your iced treat.


All Nigerian Recipes

Pulse Nigeria

Featured image source: Cookpad

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This article was first published on 25th September 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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