I've tried various ways of making the pudding now, and here's my recipe. The only hard part is locating the tigernuts (see my post from October 29)
Recipe #26 (revised): Silky Tigernut Milk Pudding (Atadwe Milkye)
1 cup of tigernuts (chufa)
1/4 cup of long grain white rice (or rice flour)
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)
1 1/2 cups plus 2/3 cups of water
a few drops of food coloring (optional)
milk or cream, for serving (optional)
A food processor, blender, or other grinder
fine mesh strainer
silk scarf (optional)
stainless steel or other nonreactive bowls
stainless steel or other nonreactive mixing spoons and/or whisk
1. Remove any shriveled or discolored chufa (tiger nuts), rinse them well several times, then put them into a nonreactive bowl (plastic, glass, ceramic, stainless steel) to soak for several hours or overnight (NOTE: in November in cold Pennsylvania, with not-so-fresh chufa, this meant overnight in the refrigerator, but in warm Ghana with fresh nuts it meant 3 or so hours. Avoid leaving them to soak so long that they begin to ferment.)
2. When ready to make the pudding, pour and drain off the water, rinse once more, and drain again.
3. Grinding: When I made this the first time, I ground the rice into powder separately in a small blender; the second time I simply mixed the rice and tiger nuts together into a food processor to blend them. While the first way seemed more elegant and was more complicated, to be honest I couldn't tell the difference in the final product. Put the 1 cup of chufa nuts and 1/4 cup rice into a food processor and add 1 cup of water. Grind/pulse the nuts and rice several minutes until they are powdery and as fine as you can get them (somehow they reminded me of ground almonds). Use a rubber spatula a few times to push down the tigernut/rice mixture if necessary. (If you are using rice flour or have ground it separately, do not add it until you are at the next step).
4. Scrape the ground mixture into a (nonreactive) bowl. Add another 1/2 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 and ground tigernuts/rice with a spoon. If using ground rice, stir it in at this point.
5. Place a folded cheesecloth over a metal strainer that is over another bowl. Scrape the ground tigernut/rice mixture into the cheesecloth, then gather up the edges of the cheesecloth and squeeze as much liquid as possible into the bowl.
6. Open the cheesecloth (still over the strainer) and pour 2/3 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.
7. Remembering the silk scarf we used in Ghana, I rinsed out and dried the bowl I used earlier when I emptied the food processor, rinsed out my clean silk scarf and squeezed it as dry as I could, then placed it over the strainer and carefully poured the tigernut milk mixture through it, and squeezed it out as I had with the cheesecloth. The first time I did this (when I ground the nuts and rice separately), I ended up with another couple of tablespoons of fiber/dregs in the cheesecloth, and it was like milking a cow to get all the liquid through the silk. The second time, I'm not sure it made any difference. Perhaps the rice was ground finer the first time and could slip through the cheesecloth, but not the silk, and the second time it was coarser and so didn't need to be restrained. As I said, the flavor was not significantly different, so you decide if you need to use a silk scarf or not. Either way, the final product is definitely silky smooth!
8. After the final straining, pour the "milk" into a heavy nonreactive metal pan (I use stainless steel), and add a little salt to taste (I used less than 1/2 teaspoon), and about 1/4 cup sugar. Heat the milk over medium heat, stirring constantly. Do not boil it. It will thicken in a few minutes. Immediately remove it from the heat and pour or ladle it into serving dishes (I used clear glass, like Barbara). I didn't try molding it, but that is another option. If you like, add a few drops of red or yellow food coloring, or try layering several colors as I did. The natural color is kind of off-white. Allow to cool, and serve topped with evaporated milk, or cream. Yummy! Who said the lactose-intolerant couldn't have pudding?