YAM AND PLANTAIN POTTAGE
You’ve probably always called this porridge, but it’s actually a pottage. Porridge, classically refers to oatmeal and other grain-based breakfast sludge but in the Nigerian context, porridge and pottage are used interchangeably.
Dictionary does describe pottage however, as a thick soup made by adding vegetables and stock to cook in a pot, which sounds more like our Yam Pottage. So we’ll stick to pottage in referring to this dish, thank you.
Yam pottage is a classic Nigerian one-pot meal in which yam cubes are added to a base stock and cooked till soft, lightly mashed, and then served. Yoruba people call it ‘asaro’, and even have songs dedicated to this dish.
“Asaro elepo rede rede, Asaro elepo rede rede” / “Asaro made with nice red palm oil, Asaro made with nice, red, palm oil”
In Ghana a version exists known as mpoto mpoto.
This recipe, sweetness is introduced to the regular recipe through the addition of plantains. Ripe plantains are very sweet, so if you’re not one who enjoys sweet savory foods, you might want to reduce the amount of plantains, or use not-so-ripe plantains. Make your delicious asaro count for something by adding some attractive meats, stock fish, and green herbs or vegetable.
- 10 medium cubes African Yam
- 2 semi ripe plantains
- Chopped onions
- 2 red bell pepper (tatashe) + 1 tomato (blended)
- Palm oil
- Seasoning cubes
- Salt (to taste)
- 1 cup shredded Smoked fish (any kind) – cleaned
- 4 Pieces of cow hide (ponmo)
- 1 tablespoon blended crayfish
- Chopped fresh vegetables (ugwu or African spinach)
- Peel the Yam, and cut it into small cubes. As you cut, drop your yam cubes into a bowl of clean water to keep it from browning until you’re ready to use them.
- Cut the plantain lengthwise, remove the core. Chop into chunks, set aside.
- Put the cubed Yams, Plantains, stock fish, salt, cow hide, seasoning cube and 4 cups of water inside a large pot. Cover it up and allow it to cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Stir in the blended peppers, tomatoes and Onions, Palm Oil and crayfish
- Use a Potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash the Yam and plantain to your desired consistency.
- Stir, taste and adjust for seasoning.
- Cover and cook for another 5 minutes
- Add in the chopped vegetables, stir and remove from heat.
- Leave to simmer for a minute or two.
- Serve hot!