1 De Rica cup soya beans (650g or 1.4 lbs)
4 litres (1 gallon) cold water
15 dates (dabino, dátil, datte)
1 vanilla pod or 1 cap vanilla flavour
Notes on the ingredients
Soya beans are sold in Nigerian markets by those who sell other staple food like rice, beans etc. Vanilla pod or vanilla flavour is sold in bakery ingredients shops.
The quantity of water listed above is what gives me the consistency of soya milk that I like. You can add more or less water if you wish.
Dates (known as dabino in Hausa, dátil in Spanish and datte in French) is a natural sweetener for the soy milk. If you do not have it, add sugar to your taste. You can buy dates from any supermarket in the world. In Nigeria, Mallams that see coconut and tiger nuts (aki awusa, ofio, aya) sell dates. Just ask them for dabino.
Vanilla give the soya milk its unique flavour. If you want your soya milk to taste like the one sold in 30cl glass bottles in Nigeria, vanilla flavour is essential. If you do not have natural vanilla pods like I used in the video below, use 1 cap of vanilla flavour for the quantity of soya beans stated above.
There are other flavours and ingredients you can add when making soya milk: milk flavour, powdered milk etc but I prefer mine basic and tasting like pure soya milk.
Rinse and soak the soya beans overnight or for at least 10 hours. Use a generous amount of water. Do not soak it for longer that this time because it will start having a fermented smell and taste.
After almost 10 hours, rinse and remove the seeds from the dates. Then cut into pieces.
Cut the vanilla along the pod and set aside. Cutting the pod exposes the vanilla beans where all the flavour is.
After 10 hours, you will notice that the soya beans are swollen, softer and the skin comes off easily.
Rub the soaked soybeans between your palms to separate the skin from the beans.
Pour more water and watch the skin come to the surface.
Decant the skin using the method of decanting the skin when peeling beans for Nigerian Moi Moi.
When there is no more skin, blend the soya beans and dates in a blender till smooth. To do this, put some beans in the blender, add some dates and pour water to cover the beans then blend.
Strain the blend using a sieve.
Pour the resulting soya milk into a big pot and start cooking on medium heat. Stir it often so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
When it is about to boil, scoop out the foam so it does not over-flow.
Add the vanilla pods. Keep stirring and keep cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring all the time.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool down completely.
Then strain again using a chiffon cloth, cheese cloth or lady’s stocking to remove the finest particles.
Pour into a bottle, cover and keep in your fridge. Drink within 2 or 3 days. If you want to keep it for much longer, keep it in the freezer.
Enjoy soya milk with cookies, Nigerian Puff Puff or any other pastry.