Sunday 4 October 2020

Yam Porridge Recipe | Asaro | How to Make Yam Pottage


Today was wet, cold and everything that makes for duvet weather. When it gets like this, I'm all about stodgy comfort food and yam porridge does not disappoint.

Yam porridge is also known as yam pottage or asaro. It's a one-pot dish that consists of African yam and a pepper/tomato blend. Very few ingredients yet the flavour is simply amazing.

The yam used in this recipe is a variety called puna yam. If you live in Europe or the U.S. you can find it at most African or Caribbean food shops.

The traditional version of this recipe calls for palm oil, but I know a few people are averse to it. If you're unable to source sustainable palm oil or if you're following a low-oil diet, then you can leave it out completely. I shared a completely oil-free version of this dish many years ago - click here to check it out.

The non-vegan version of this recipe also includes crayfish, usually added to impart an aromatic seafood flavour to the dish. A wonderful vegan alternative is seaweed - try adding kombu or wakame seaweed flakes. Again, this is totally optional and yam porridge tastes just as good without this hint of the sea!

As with most one-pot dishes, yam porridge is great for meal prep. You can make a humongous batch, divide into food containers and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

If you do make this recipe, be sure to share it with me on Instagram or wherever you're social. Tag @vegannigerian :)


(serves 6)

- 1 large yam, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli
- 1 tin plum tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp palm oil or coconut oil (optional)
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp kombucha seaweed (optional)

Place the yam pieces in a large pot.

Blend the red bell peppers, onion, scotch bonnet chilli and plum tomatoes to make a smooth sauce. Pour over the yam, along with a cup of water, and mix well. Add the palm oil and season with salt, garlic powder, stock cube and seaweed. 

Simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes. Stir thoroughly and serve hot on its own or with a side salad.

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