Yam pottage/Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe – Asaro which is also known as Yam pottage or Yam porridge is a very delicious Yam recipe though it’s eaten by most tribes in Nigeria however, it is more common in the Yoruba-speaking parts of Nigeria. It’s also easy to make. If you love yam, it’s a must-try recipe!
The Nigerian Yam pottage/Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe
This yam porridge recipe tastes just like my mom’s. The only difference is that it uses basil which is not typical in my mom’s recipe. However, you can choose to add any herb or any leafy green of your choice like spinach, kale, or ugwu.
How is Asaro made?
Asaro is made from Puna Yam which is boiled till it’s tender and it’s cooked in a blend of Peppers, Tomatoes, onions, palm oil, and seasoning. While the dish is more common in the Yoruba-speaking region of Nigeria, it is still a meal enjoyed by the majority alike each with their own regional variation.
It is nicknamed “Asaro elepo rede rede” meaning yam porridge boldly colored with fresh palm oil and garnished to perfection.
If you like plantains, you may want to try my yam Porridge with plantains.
What is Yam porridge Made of?
- African yam: Yam comes in different species, but the best one for this recipe is African yam.
- Red Bell Pepper, tomato, and habanero pepper: the blend of these three will make a perfect pepper mix for the porridge.
- Fresh Palm Oil: There is no yam porridge without oil. Fresh palm oil gives it the color and makes it fluffy.
- Onion: Onions bring the flavor out of the porridge. You need onions for the pepper mix and the porridge itself.
- Salt and Chicken bouillon powder: This will bring out the taste of the porridge. Ensure that you add in moderate quantity.
- Fish and crayfish: add this to spice up the meal. You can add mackerel, crab meat, stockfish, or dried fish.
- Vegetables/Herbs: perfect the meal with herbs like basil, parsley, scent leaves, and any other leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, or fluted pumpkin leaf (Ugwu).
How to make Yam Porridge
- Peel and cut and rinse the yam. Ensure that you rinse the yam more than once until the water is clear and no longer cloudy. The yam should be in medium-sized chunks about 2 inches thick.
- Blend your pepper mix. Blend the bell pepper, habanero, tomato, and half onion.
- Cook the yam and the pepper mix together. Put the first yams inside a pot, and add the pepper mix, 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 again and let it cook extra 10 minutes.
- Mash the yams. You can use a potato masher or a wooden spoon. I love to mash some yams and keep some chunks. It gives more texture!
- Add the fish. You can smoke fish, dried, boiled, canned, or stockfish. You can also add smoked turkey or any other meat you prefer.
- Simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the herbs or any other leafy vegetable of your choice.
- Serve and enjoy while still hot!
You can watch the video on how to make the Nigerian Yam pottage/Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe below:
There are a few things to note when making the Nigerian Yam Pottage (Yam porridge):
- It’s best to use the freshest Palm Oil you can possibly get because stale palm oil will ruin the taste of the Pottage.
- It’s best to use as little seasoning as possible because the yam itself is sweet so the excessive seasoning will overshadow the sweet taste of the Pottage.
- Add a little more water if necessary but don’t overdo it.
Frequently asked questions
- Do they put Sugar in Asaro?
There are no rules. If you prefer sugar, you can add it, especially when making this recipe with the new yam. The new yam has not yet developed the natural sweetness that comes with the older yam. However, I recommend that you shouldn’t add sugar to older yams because they are sweet enough. Sugar will alter the natural taste of the porridge.
- How much should I mash Yam Porridge?
Mash your yam porridge with a wooden spoon or potato masher. How much you mash depends on your preference. I like to leave some yam chunks in my yam porridge, so I mash about 50%.
- Palm oil/Vegetable oil
Although vegetable oil can be an alternative to palm oil, it doesn’t fit the recipe perfectly. The best option is to use palm oil because it brings out the flavor of the recipe and it adds color to the porridge.
Serving Yam Porridge
Yam porridge is a stand-alone food that can serve as lunch and dinner. However, you can serve it with the following:
- Stew like ata din-din and African Stewed Spinach
- Chicken: Harissa chicken wings, baked chicken wings, Cilantro lime chicken, and other chicken recipes.
- Seafood: Pan-seared tilapia fish, lemon garlic baked codfish, Air Fryer Salmon, Shrimp, Sausage Gumbo, etc.
- Turkey: If you prefer turkey, yam porridge goes well with air fryer turkey thighs and Air Fryer Turkey Breast.
Leftover Yam Porridge
You can store your yam porridge leftover in the fridge or freezer. Put it in an airtight container to store it. It can last up to five days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat in the microwave or on a stove pot and enjoy.
If you enjoy this Nigerian Yam pottage recipe, you might also like these too:
- Nigerian Beef Stew
- Nigerian Style Chicken Fried Rice
- Grilled Plantains
- Pounded Yam
- Ewa Riro (Stewed Beans)
- African Yam (fried puna Yam)
- Rice and beans
This recipe first appereared in cheflolaskitchen.com in 2015 but it has sice been updated with new pictures.
Yam pottage/Yam Porridge (Asaro) Recipe
- 1 medium Yam tuber
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 large Tomato
- 1 Habanero Pepper
- 1 large Onion divided into two
- 3 cups Water
- 1/2 Cup Palm Oil of fresh
- 2 Tablespoons Crayfish
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder or 2 cubes
- 15 ounces Mackerel fish salmon, stockfish or dried fish
- basil or parsley or any Leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, ugwu)
- Peel and cut the Yam into medium-sized chunks. Rinse a couple of times until the water is no longer cloudy. Set aside
- Blend the bell pepper, habanero, tomato, and half onion.
- Put the yams inside a pot, and add the blended sauce, 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 leave to cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Mash the yams with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. I love to mash some yams and keep some chunks. It gives more texture!
- Add the fish (You can use whatever addition you prefer, like smoked fish or crab meat).
- Allow it to simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in the herbs like basil, or leafy greens like spinach, kale, or ugwu) and enjoy while still hot!
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If you make this Asaro recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram and Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen
Monday 27th of June 2022
Hi good evening ma, is it okay to add sweet potatoes to this recipe too ?
Chef Lola's Kitchen
Sunday 10th of July 2022
Of course, Christina. Although yam is the original ingredient, feel free to make it your own by adding potatoes.
Tuesday 22nd of February 2022
Tuesday 22nd of February 2022
Thank you 😊
Saturday 6th of November 2021
The recipe was helpful. Thanks
Monday 8th of November 2021
I'm glad it was helpful :)
Tuesday 2nd of November 2021
Yummyyyy 🥰. Very easy to follow & well detailed! Thank you sisss Lolllaaaa ❤️❤️