Asaro (Yam Pottage)

So this is the last of my posts on the Nigerian feast that I cooked up, last weekend. The dish on the list is Yam Pottage also known as Asaro. Safe to say, another spicy and delicious dish that comes out of many Nigerian kitchens. I personally haven’t eaten yam for years. I was fearful of what the phytoestrogens would do to my fibroids – at least that’s what my father used to advice me many years ago. So as a result I would just ignore yams. However in the past few years the fibroids came back and took residence regardless, so I’ve relaxed my rules a little.

In preparation for the lunch I went to a local international (well ‘African’ and ‘Asians’ foods at least) food market to buy a yam tuber. I was saved from paying a ridiculously extortionate price and just paid an extortionate price because of my mother’s Yorubabian (is that a word?) outrage at the sellers. So off we went home with a yam tuber in my eager sweaty little paws.

However the next day, I took one look at the recipe I planned to make (spicy yam bites) and decided it was far too complex and I just couldn’t be bothered at that point in time. So I coverted to yam pottage (Asaro). This is essentially yam with a mix of tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil and seasoning. The yam is boiled until it’s tender and it’s cooked in the tomato based sauce. I used the recipe from the classic jollof rice, which worked out really nicely. It was very hot and complemented the coconut rice quite well.

The rest of the asaro has been sitting in the fridge all week and I’ve been slowly consuming it one small bowl at a time. It’s a perfect little snack when I have been feeling peckish doing my admin at home.

I would like to cook more yam based recipes because I do love the taste and texture of yam. Growing up one of the best and simplest of meals was a plate of yam with a little of oil and a sprinkle of salt – delicious. I remember my father used to also make that for a quick breakfast for us when we ran out of our usual weetabix. Another favourite was to eat it with soup (omi obe) after school or with scrambled eggs at the weekend. Yes, I’m definitely going to have to make time for more yam…

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