Yams are widely known to and appreciated by Nigerians because of how they can be used to prepare a variety of delicious quick-to-prepare meals.
Here are five delicious Nigerian yam dishes that will leave you reeling from its sumptuous taste.
The Western Nigeria version of this meal is Asaro. The main difference between the normal yam porridge and Asaro is the blended peppers, palm oil and occasional ‘Ata Dindin’ added to the Asaro. Normal yam porridge can be cooked with vegetable oil as an alternative to palm oil and need not have as much pepper as the Asaro.
Its method of preparation is simple with the need of only few main ingredients like seasoning, palm or vegetable oil and smoked or dry fish (or mashed chicken depending on your preference).
It’s a very delicious and popular ‘swallow’ meal that’s eaten with various Nigerian soup recipes like Egusi soup, Okro soup, Efo Riro etc. It is traditionally prepared by cooking pieces of white yam and pounding the pieces in a mortar with a pestle, until the yam is soft and stretchy.
Recently, a version of pounded yam called ‘Poundo Yam’ has been introduced to relieve some of the stress of the traditional pounded yam preparation process. The ‘poundo yam’ is mainly prepared by stirring yam flour in hot water until it’s soft and stretchy.
3.YAM AND FRIED EGGS
Every Nigerian child has this meal as a lunchtime companion while growing up. If your parents didn’t pack it in your school lunchbox, it was served for lunch in the dining hall during ‘long-break’.
It’s also a simple meal to prepare, and it mainly consists of boiled yam and fried eggs. Onions, pepper and seasoning are added alongside to improve the taste of the fried eggs.
It’s a hand held tasty snack that makes for a nice side dish or appetizer. It is usually served in the ‘small chops’ section of parties. The dish can be stuffed with varieties of fillings such as minced/ground beef, mashed chicken, fresh shrimp, fish, bell peppers, sweet corn, spring onions, sliced onions etc. White yam is usually cooked, and blended and mixed into smooth and stretchy dough, before being wrapped into a ball with fillings and fried in hot oil.
5.OFE NSALA (WHITE SOUP)
This is a tasty and mouth-watering soup that’s popular in the eastern part of Nigeria. The soup can be cooked with cat fish, fresh fish or assorted meat and dried fish. It contains no palm or vegetable oil, and is characterized by its light color.
Here, the yam cubes are peeled and pounded to smooth paste (using a mortar and pestle, or a blender). Yam powder can also be used instead of yam cubes. Some hot water is added to the yam flour, and stirred continuously until a smooth paste is made. The yam paste is then added to a watery mix of pepper, crayfish (optional), chopped onions, salt, seasoning, cooked assorted meat and dried fish (or catfish or fresh fish, depending on your preference). The paste will completely dissolve after a while, signaling that the delicious Ofe Nsala is ready. The soup is usually served with pounded yam, eba, amala or fufu.