How to cook yam porridge (Asaro recipe) with vegetable
Yam porridge or yam pottage is a staple dish in many homes in Nigeria. It is highly nutritious, easy to prepare, and quite affordable. The key ingredients in this Nigerian staple are yams, palm oil, and a little seasoning and spices. Although, many homes and chefs in Nigeria have changed and added other ingredients for extra nutrients and improved taste.
Although there is a myth that yam porridge can make you sleepy when you eat it in the morning, yam porridge/ pottages are perfect for breakfast. This is a myth from my time in a typical Nigerian boarding school!
Yam pottage is also a suitable meal for lunch and dinner. You can always try it at a different time and decide which is more convenient!!!
Yam is one of the most common foods enjoyed in Nigeria. It is prepared and eaten in several ways.
Yam porridge, also known as Asaro, is perfect for the days when we are tired of eating yams in classic ways. Some ways we enjoy yam include boiled yam and palm oil, fried yam and egg sauce, pounded yam with soup, and roasted yam served with palm oil.
Several breeds of yam are cooked and enjoyed in several ways. Our Yam pottage recipe discusses three different ways to make yam pottage.
Check out the most common way Nigerians prepare and enjoy their yam porridge. These include local Nigerian yam porridge, the perfect yam porridge for Sapa, and the ridiculously garnished yam porridge. Although you can pick whichever appeases your taste buds, we recommend you try all the yam porridge recipes we have below!!
Nutritional benefits of eating yam porridge
When you eat only yam, you eat a lot of carbohydrates at a time. Although it also contains rich dietary fibre, vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese.
Yam porridge/ yam pottage is a rich meal because it contains relishes with rich nutritional values. Some rich relish in yam porridge includes palm oil, fish, and vegetable. These relishes are rich in fibre, vitamins and protein.
Cooking yam porridge with the right vegetables
Yam porridge can sometimes be a little bland if we do not garnish it with selected proteins and vegetables. Adding a vegetable to your yam pottage adds more than minerals and fibre to your meal. It adds colour and a fresh taste to the whole dish. Each of these vegetables comes with its taste. Some vegetables you can add to yam porridge include:
- Nigerian Spinach (Efo)
- Scent leaf
You are welcome to try the following vegetables with your yam porridge. We listed the best vegetable for yam pottage above. You also add only a handful of the following because they are mainly herbal spices added to their flavours:
- Basil (curry leaves) just a handful for the yam
List of ingredients needed to make garnished yam porridge
Some ingredients needed to make the most delicious yam porridge include:
- 1 tuber of yam or 1/2 tuber of yam
- Palm oil or vegetable oil (I prefer palm oil)
- Salt to taste
- Seasoning cubes to taste
- Dry fish or ice fish. They both taste great in yam porridge.
- Pepper (scotch bonnet, bell pepper or tatache)
- Fresh tomatoes
How to cook well-garnished yam porridge
- Peel, wash and cut the yam into small pieces and place in a pot
- Add a cup of water
- Add a teaspoon of salt
- Cover the pot and leave to cook while you prepare other elements for this recipe
- If you are using fresh fish/ice fish, you can cut it into pieces and cook them on a different burner.
- Yam pottage does not need chunks of icefish. So, you can use a fork to slice the icefish into tinier bits!
- If you are using smoked fish, this is also the best time to wash and keep it aside,
- As the yam is cooking, you can also wash the vegetable for the porridge, slice and place them in a bowl. (always sprinkle a pinch of salt while washing vegetables)
- Wash scotch bonnet, clean crayfish, and onion. Pound in a mortar together or separately.
- Heat palm oil in a saucepan
- Throwing the diced tomatoes, pepper, crayfish and onion
- Mix well and allow to fry for about four minutes.
- Add seasoning cube and salt to taste.
- Once the yam is properly cooked, strain out the water used to boil the yam.
- Place the yam on to the stove on low heat.
- Add broth used to boil fish (you can add more water if you like your porridge a little runny)
- Pour the fried sauce on top of the cooked yam
- Add the pieces of icefish or smoked fish
- Allow all the ingredients in the pot to simmer for three minutes before you mix to combine
- Add seasoning and taste for salt and seasoning. If needed, you can add the porridge.
- Allow simmering for two more minutes
- Pour the vegetable on top
- Again, allow simmering before you mix to combine
- Stir continuously for about two minutes until the porridge thickens
- Vegetables do not need to cook for too long, so you can allow your pottage to bubble for a minute or two
- Your yam pottage is ready!!
Local Nigerian yam pottage recipe
We can make local yam porridge with another breed of yams. These breeds can either be cocoyam (taro) or wild yam. Although the small local yam is perfect for this dish,
Ingredients for local yam porridge
- Local yams
- palm oil
- dry chilli flakes
- salt to taste
- seasoning cubes to taste
- uziza seed (eche)
Step-by-step, local yam porridge recipe
Before you cook Nigerian yam porridge, it is necessary to note that these small yams take longer to cook. They are all boiled with their peel, unlike regular yams that need to be peeled. Find the recipe for a local Nigerian yam porridge below.
- Wash and boil Nigerian wild yam
- Cook for at least 3 hours
- Do not check with a fork or a knife to know if it is properly cooked. Feel it with your hand to know if it is cooked. Be mindful of the heat.
- While the yam is cooking, you can focus on preparing other ingredients
- Clean and grind crayfish, okpehe and eche (uziza)
- If your dry pepper (chilli) isn’t ground or blended, you can also take this time to blend it.
- This recipe does not require vegetable oil, palm oil is just perfect!!
- Once the wild yam is cooked, drain out the water, remove the yam peel and place it in a pot.
- pour palm oil into a pot and heat for about three minutes on low heat
- add the ground chilli flakes, crayfish, okpehe and uziza and fry for about two on love heat to make a spicy sauce
- Place the peeled yam back on the stove and pour in the spicy sauce
- add salt and seasoning to taste
- add 1/2 cups water to the pot and mix well
- allow cooking for about three minutes
- your local porridge is ready to serve!!!
- Dish out and enjoy cold water
Whether you call it yam potage or yam porridge, stay tuned!!!
We will bring you the best way to make the most delicious Sapa-friendly yam porridge with few ingredients.
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