Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe

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Asaro, also known as yam pottage or yam porridge, is a yam recipe that is eaten by the Yoruba-speaking areas of Nigeria. If you love yam and want to try a new easy to make recipe, asaro is a great choice.

Asaro is made from yams that are boiled until they are tender, which are then cooked in a blend of peppers, tomatoes, onions, palm oil, and seasoning. You can also choose to add your own herbs or leafy greens to the dish.

This recipe of yam porridge differs slightly from tradition, as it has the addition of basil to it. However, you can mix any spices that you desire, as well as add spicy peppers or spinach to your yam porridge. Read on to learn how to make yam porridge, what ingredients you will need, and more.

yam porridge

How To Make Yam Porridge

To make yam porridge, peel, cut, and rinse your yams until the water is clear and no longer cloudy. The yam should be in medium-sized chunks. After that, blend together the bell pepper, habanero, tomato, and half an onion. 

Put the yams into a pot, add the blended pepper mix, then add salt, bouillon powder, and water. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium to high heat.

Once the 10 minutes are up, stir in the palm oil, sliced onions, and crayfish. Cover it again and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Mash the yams using a potato masher or wooden spoon. Add in smoked, dried, boiled, or canned fish. You can also use smoked turkey or any other preferred meat. Let it simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the herb or leafy greens that you want, then serve and enjoy. 

Serving and Storing Yam Porridge

Yam porridge can be eaten by itself for lunch or dinner, but it can also be served with stew, such as ata din-din or African stewed spinach. It can also be served with chicken wings or cilantro lime chicken, as well as a variety of seafood, such as pan-seared tilapia or lemon garlic baked codfish.

If you prefer turkey, yam porridge pairs well with air fryer turkey thighs or air fryer turkey breast..

For leftovers, store the yam porridge in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. It will last up to 5 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat the yam porridge using a microwave or a pot on the stove.

Ingredients For Making Yam pottage

The ingredients for yam porridge are fairly simple. Here is the full list of what you will need and why you need it:

  • African yam: you can use other species of yam but African yam is best for this recipe
  • Red bell pepper, tomato, and habanero pepper: this is for the pepper mix for the porridge
  • Fresh palm oil: palm oil is what gives yam porridge its color and fluffiness
  • Onion: this will bring out the flavor in the yam porridge
  • Salt and chicken bouillon powder: use a moderate quantity to bring out the taste of the yam porridge
  • Fish and crayfish: adds protein and more flavor to the meal
  • Herbs and vegetables: herbs such as basil and parsley and vegetables such as spinach or kale help top off the meal

Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe

4 from 2 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: MainCuisine: AfricanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories

622

kcal

Looking to try a new easy to make dish from another culture? Give this simple but tasty Nigerian yam porridge dish a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yam tuber

  • 1 red bell pepper

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1 habanero pepper

  • 1 large onion (divided in half)

  • 3 cups water

  • ½ cup of fresh palm oil

  • 2 tablespoons crayfish

  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder (2 cubes)

  • 15 ounces fish of your choice

  • Basil or parsley

  • Any leafy green vegetables (spinach or kale)

  • Salt to taste

Directions

  • Peel and cut the yam into medium sized chunks. Rinse until the water is no longer cloudy. Set aside.
  • Blend together the bell pepper, habanero pepper, tomato, and half an onion.
  • Put the yams into a pot, add the vegetable blend, then add salt, bouillon powder, and water. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes on medium to high heat.
  • Stir in the palm oil, sliced onions, and crayfish. Cover and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Mash the yams with a potato masher or wooden spoon until it reaches your preferred texture.
  • Add the fish of your choice and allow it to simmer for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Stir in your preferred herbs and vegetables.
  • Serve and enjoy.

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Tips and Tricks

If possible, use the freshest palm oil you can possibly get. Stale palm oil will ruin the taste of the yam porridge. 

Although seasoning is an important part of cooking, be sure not to overdo it as it can overshadow the sweet taste of the yam. 

Lastly, if you need to, you can add a little water to it, but be sure to not overdo it so the yam porridge does not become watery.

FAQs

Do they put sugar in yam porridge?

You can add sugar if you are using new yams, which are not as sweet as older yams. However, it is not recommended to use sugar with older yams, as it can alter the natural taste of the yam porridge.

How much should I mash yam porridge?

You can mash it as much or as little as you want based on your preferences. If you want it to be more textured, leave some yam chunks in the porridge and only mash some of the yams.

Can I use vegetable oil instead of palm oil?

Although vegetable oil can be used as an alternative to palm oil, palm oil is the best option to bring out the flavor of the yam porridge and to add color to it.

Other Traditional Recipes

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Easy Asian Desserts

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Easy French Desserts

Authentic Spanish Appetizers

Conclusion

Now you know how to make a simple but hearty yam porridge. Pair it with a meat dish of your choice or just eat it by itself for a yummy lunchtime meal. Remember to feel free to experiment with your spices, vegetables, and fish choices and create your very own personalized yam porridge recipe.

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