Asaro is also known as Yam pottage or porridge. It is a very delicious Yam recipe. Although it’s eaten by most tribes in Nigeria, it is more common in the Yoruba-speaking parts of the country. It’s also easy to make. If you love yam, it’s a must-try 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.
What is 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!