Yam has been a Nigerian food far back to the history of food and Nigeria itself. It has been a source of delicious meals generation after generation. In addition, it is a tool of employment for its farmers and suppliers and an empowerment strategy for both genders across the food industries. It is a whole in which multiple varieties can be sourced out. In this article, I will be sharing with you dishes you could make with yam.
Yams are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in many temperate and tropical regions, especially in Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, Asia, and Oceania.
Yam is edible tubers and they are found majorly in Niger, Benue, Edo, Oyo, Taraba, Abia, Sokoto states of Nigeria. In Nigeria, here are all the dishes you could make with yam.
Yam Recipes from Nigeria
1. White Yam
This is the second easiest yam recipe for me. All one has to do is pill the yam, cut it into pieces, wash then boil until it is soft. Why did I say it’s easy? Because during the cooking, you don’t have to stand in front of the cooker dreading it burn, you just have to put enough water. Then go about your other activities while checking on the pot from time to time.
White Yam is mostly served for lunch and it is enjoyed with stew, either cabbage, onion or egg sauce, and sometimes just oil and pepper. It depends on the mood and pocket of the eater.
2. Fried Yam
Fried yam is also one of the dishes you could make with yam. In most cases, this yam goes directly from cutting (slicing) and washing to been pushed into hot oil after sprinkling a little salt/maggi. Only a few people boil it before frying. Boiling usually makes it softer even after being fried.
Fried Yam is enjoyed as breakfast or dinner. It is preferably taken with pap, (kunu) or custard. In some cases, it is garnished with a little egg or onion sauce by the side of the plate. It is the easiest yam recipe for a few people.
Also, fried yam has been a source of livelihood for a lot of people. It is fried and sold to people side by side with Akara. I remember my secondary school days, we used to have women whose canteen consisted of this yam and akara. Then, we could eat something tangible during break periods for as low as 50naira.
3. Golden Yam
Golden yam, laced yam, yam, and eggs are all names used to identify the recipe of yam dipped into eggs. It is a famous yam recipe within Northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large for different reasons:
First, it is a devotedly patronized recipe amongst the Nigerian Muslim communities during Ramadan for iftars.
Secondly, it is a variety that can be made out of leftovers. Throughout my life, each afternoon, we make white yam and it stays overnight, we preserve it then wake up first thing in the morning to wash, slice, and fry with eggs for breakfast.
Thirdly, it is an additional source of livelihood for a lot of people especially men. In my life, I know some men who fry yam with egg in the evening (7 pm to 10 pm) and they are making it. As a matter of fact, one already has landed from it, not to mention restaurants with it on their menu.
Yam and Egg is prepared by peeling off the skin of the yam. Instead of cutting into pieces, the yam is sliced into pieces, then washed and boiled. Note that the boiling doesn’t take time like in the case of the white yam. After the boiling, it is sieved to drain out the water and cool it down a little.
Meanwhile, you break and beat in your egg inside a bowl. Put on a frying pan with oil on the fire. When it’s hot enough, you pick a slice of the yam; dip it inside the egg before throwing it into the oil for frying. Frying doesn’t take long least the egg around the yam crisps into something not desirable.
On an ordinary day, this yam recipe is a breakfast goal for most people.
4. Yam Porridge
Instead of just boiling in water, here, it is chopped into medium size cubes and the water is no crystal clear water. It is a combination of onion, tomatoes, pepper, meat, palm oil, and maggi. In some cases, beans and spinach are added to the mix.
It is one of the afternoon dishes you could make with yam; lunch. As the name porridge implies, this yam recipe comes out looking yummy.
5. Roasted Yam
This is the easiest dish you could make with yam. As roasting implies, locally, the whole tuber is placed atop a grill that has an open fire underneath. When it’s done, the yam is then sliced and peeled to be eaten with oil and pepper. It is a lunch menu.
Using today’s technology, however, it is sliced circularly before been soaked in salt water for some time. Then, it is placed in an oven and grilled at low heat. It is enjoyed with any sauce. This type of roasted yam recipe belongs to both the breakfast and lunch menu.
6. Pounded Yam
This is one of the dishes you could make with yam. Just like the name has a ring of the pound to it, the processing of this meal includes pounding. Yam is boiled to a serious level of softness, followed by a vigorous pounding session in the traditional pestle and mortar with as much as little water as possible. When it has been beaten into the desired finesse, it is moulded into a medium ball-like shape and it is served with traditional soups like Egusi, Okro, Beans soup, etc.
This process requires raw power which is why women in this generation stay away from this yam recipe as much as possible. Though the machine has been invented for the pounding process, it is not popular amongst households. It should be noted that not every yam is a fine agent of this swallow. The specific types for a tasty swallow are the ones gotten from Niger state because of their powder-like capacity, not to mention the starchiness that is responsible for sticking.
It should be noted that this is one of the best dishes most men like. It is probably their best swallow.
7. Yam Balls
This is a yam recipe not funny to achieve at all. Why? This is because it has a lot of processes to go through before its perfection. First, the yam is boiled, then pounded inside a mixture of sauce (ground tomatoes, onion, and pepper with maggi fried in very little oil) whilst it is still hot. After the smoothening, it’s moulded into small ball-like sizes. These ball-like sizes prepared yam are fried in oil after been dipped in a bowl of the beaten egg. See! This is why I labelled it “the not easy recipe you could make with yam’.
Yam balls are an afternoon package that is sometimes used as snacks during events related to weddings.
Bakin (black) Amala just like pounded yam is a swallow; a category of food taken with Nigerian soups such as Egusi, Okro, Ewedu, etc. This type of amala is made from the peels of yam. First, the sandy/brown part of the yam is stylishly scraped before the main peeling occurs. The peels are then washed and dry before grinding into powder. The ground powder is what is used to make this meal.
First, water is put on fire. When it boils, a handful of this powder is made into a paste then poured into the boiling water. After a few minutes, another handful is fetched and added to the already boiling paste while been seriously turned with a swallow stick (“mucchiya in Hausa) into smoothness and desired thickness. Amala is ready for consumption. This is surely one of the dishes you could make with yam.
Yam is an important type of food in Nigerian societies which is why it is enjoyed in different recipes. The above mentioned are 8 dishes you could make with yam. A lot of festivals are centred around yam. It provides a healthy amount of potassium, metabolic B vitamins, fibre, etc. Not to mention, it is a good source of energy.