Yam porridge is very simple, quick and easy to make. It is delish and very filling, it always reminds me of my time in Federal Government College, Enugu doing my A’ Levels, Yam Po was a dish not be missed. It can be called yam pottage, just like Plantain Porridge / Plantain Pottage, but they are more commonly called porridge. Whatever you call it, just make it scrumptious and enjoy your dish.
Yam Porridge can be served at breakfast, lunch or dinner. In fact in typical Nigerian style, when there are tens of people sleeping over, during weddings, burials etc., it is one of the easy breakfast dishes to serve. It is a one-pot dish and saves a lot of time.
There are numerous species of yam, which can impact on the taste of your yam porridge. Try and use a sweet variety (Igbo: iyo, ipoko). When the yams are mature and newly harvested, they make for soft and creamy yam porridge but not very sweet. At the end of the season, when yams are old and dry, they are sweet but won’t give creamy yam porridge. You will need to cook it for a very long time to achieve any sort of softness and creaminess. Mid-season yam gives the best yam porridge, combining both sweetness and creaminess.
You can add goat meat, dry fish, cow leg, stockfish etc. Try and debone the fish very well before adding to the porridge because bits of bone can hide in the creamy slurry and reduce your enjoyment of the porridge when trying to pick them out. You also risk oesophagal/throat piercing (story of my life).
Bone marrow can be added too, it makes the porridge taste very rich, in this case, you need to reduce the amount of palm oil used. My children love yam porridge with cow leg (trotters). Tomatoes are not used in this yam porridge neither are vegetables or herbs.
Ogili okpei, though tasty in yam porridge will darken the colour of the slurry.
Vegetables Yam porridge is also very delicious and wholesome but not everybody likes vegetables added to their porridge. In which case, just steam the vegetables and serve as a side.
To prepare Yam Porridge
Meat, dry fish, stockfish, smoked fish, cow leg, bone marrow or tripe etc. (optional) 730g yam 3 cups water + stock 3/4 cup chopped onions, (110g) 2 seasoning cubes salt 1 scotch bonnet (fresh pepper) 2 1/2 tablespoons ground crayfish 4g ogili okpei (optional) 6 tablespoons palm oil
Wash meat or stockfish, seasoned with salt and seasoning cube and boil till soft.
If using dry fish, soak in hot water for 2 minutes, drain and rinse well in cold water. Debone the fish.
Cut and peel yam, cut into cubes and rinse in a bowl of water.
Place yam in a pot, add water and stock, enough to just cover the yam.
Add meat or dry fish, onions, seasoning cubes, salt and pepper.
Do not put too much salt because when the yam porridge thickens, the concentration of the salt will be more.
Place over medium-high heat. Add crayfish, ground
Add crayfish, ground ogili okpei and palm oil. Stir and cover.
Cook till yam is very soft.
The slurry will be light and watery at this stage.
Use a wooden spoon, if one is available, and stir your yam porridge continuously. You will notice it thickening because the stirring is dissolving some of the yam and acting as a thickener.
You can take out 1 or 2 pieces of yam, mash them and stir it into the pot.
Reduce the heat and cook for a short while, taste and take off the heat.
- You can slice in some spring onions for taste and colour.
You will also enjoy my Vegetable yam porridge, Plantain porridge, Vegetable yam (Ji akwukwo), Poorman’s potato and Achicha (dry Cocoyam). Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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