Asaro – Yam Pottage needs no major introduction. It is a very popular Nigerian mashed Yam and Tomato stew infused dish. You can either prepare your Asaro – Yam pottage very mushy or you can have it part mushy, I prefer part as I’m not a fan of mushy or puréed foods.
You can choose to add vegetable to your Asaro – Yam Pottage or have it without, this recipe shows you how to prepare both.
Don’t be perturbed by the exhaustive list of ingredients, most of them are optional. Yam pottage can still be enjoyed without adding proteins, this is just how I choose to prepare mine. I love, love, love the deep , rich and natural flavours of smoked turkey and dried stockfish in yam pottage, hence the inclusion. If you don’t already do this, you really should. Also, you don’t have to use palm oil, vegetable oil is just as good, if not tastier.
So, let’s get started.
1/2 Tuber Medium Size White/Puna Yam, washed and chopped into small chunks
2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil/Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup of washed and chopped Ugu or Spinach leaves. You can also use Coriander/Cilantro if you’re using vegetable oil.(Optional)
2 Red Bell Pepper( Tatashe)
3 medium Tomatoes
11/2 Big Onion
2 Scotch Bonnet( Atarodo)
Smoked Turkey (Optional)
1 Medium Size Smoked Fish
1 Medium size Stockfish (Panla) (Optional)
2 Heaped Tablespoon Ground Crayfish
2 Tablespoons Locust Beans (Iru)
1 Maggi Crayfish or your preferred Bouillon cubes
1/2 Teaspoon your Preferred Seasoning (I’m using Aromat)
Salt to Taste
Wash and boil the meats you’ll be using if you’re using any. Remember to boil, the tougher meats first, then add the softer meats along with the stockfish (Panla). If you’ll be using smoked fish, add this around 2-3 minuts before final doneness to soften it up. Do season them really well as you’ll be using some of the stock later.
Shred the meats and fish into bite sizes and set aside.
Get a fairly big pot, place on a hob on medium heat, add the palm oil. When it’s hot, add 1/2 sliced onions, sauté till fragrant…
When it’s fragrant, add the locust beans, sauté for 2 minutes….
If you’re using vegetable oil, skip the locust beans, unless you like the taste of locust beans in vegetable oil…
After 2 minutes, add the blended pepper, bouillon cube and salt to taste. Cover and fry for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning…
While the stew is frying, transfer the yam into a pot, add enough water to cover it, add just a bit of salt and parboil for 6-8 minutes. Don’t overcook or cook till soft, just till it’s a tad bit tender…
Check on the stew, when it’s fried, you’ll know when the pepper reduces considerably and you can’t taste the sourness of the tomatoes anymore.
Add 1-2 cups of stock, combine and leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes…
Now, add the parboiled yam, along with the shredded meats..
Combine thoroughly, turn the heat down to low, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes or until the yam softens.
When the yam softens, mash half of the yam and cook for 5 minutes…
If you’re not using vegetables, your Asaro – Yam Pottage is ready after 5 minutes. If you’re using vegetable, then continue with the recipe…
After 5 minutes, add the Ugu or whichever vegetable leaves you’re using…
Switch off the heat at this time and let the vegetables simmer in the pottage with the residual heat for 2-3 minutes.
And your Asaro – Yam Pottage is ready.