Thursday 30 June 2022

Top 5 African Yam Recipes

Yam is native to Africa and Nigeria happens to be the largest producer in the world, responsible for over 75% of total production. The tubers can range from small to very large in size. In the U.S. sweet potatoes are often mislabelled as yam, so just a heads up that we are not discussing sweet potatoes here. Yams have a dark brown skin and pale interior; in terms of taste, the flavour is more neutral and delicate. 

Yam is similar to white potato in terms of the way it is cooked - there are so many exciting ways to enjoy it! Whether boiled, roasted, fried or pounded. Check out my top five yam recipes below for inspiration. Some of the recipes can be found here on the blog, and some are exclusive to my cookbook Vegan Nigerian Kitchen

Top 5 African Yam Recipes

1. Asaro | Yam Porridge

Also known as yam pottage. This one-pot dish that consists of yam cooked in a delicious blend of peppers and tomatoes. It's a comfort meal through and through. Any variety of yam will do, but I highly recommend opting for puna yam. 

2. Boiled Yam and Vegan 'Egg' Sauce

A popular breakfast option across Nigeria. The yam is boiled until soft and fluffy and served alongside a scrambled egg sauce. In this creative vegan version, scrambled tofu is used in stead of eggs. Don't skimp out on adding an abundance of veggies, and don't forget to season your scramble! 

3. Pounded Yam

Also known as Iyan in the Yoruba language, pounded yam is a popular swallow in Nigeria. It is made by pounding boiled yam until you have a smooth and stretchy dough. The traditional way of making pounded yam involves a giant mortar and pestle but these days, a food processor or pounded yam maker will do. It is now even possible to buy pounded yam flour from African shops if you want to save time and energy. Serve it alongside a delicious soup or stew such as egusi or efo riro

4. Yamarita

This fried yam snack is normally coated in an egg mixture but you can make a tasty vegan version using non-dairy milk to create the spicy batter that will coat the yam pieces. The yam is boiled first to ensure a soft and fluffy interior to complement the crispy coating.

5. Yam Pepper Soup

A variation of the delicious Pepper Soup, this particular style is popular amongst the Igbo and is often made for new mums because of its nourishing and medicinal properties. Instead of sourcing the individual spices that go into making this dish, it is now possible to buy pepper soup mixes online and in stores. Don't forget to add uziza seeds and utazi leaves to get the signature taste! 

Want to learn more about traditional Nigerian cuisine? Get your copy of Vegan Nigerian Kitchen, which features tons of knowledge on ingredients and recipes you'll absolutely love.

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