Are you someone who loves Nigerian food?

Yam pottage is an easy, delicious and addictive dish made by cooking Nigerian yam in a well-seasoned palm oil and pepper mix until soft and fluffy with some crayfish and fish chunks. Some people like to leave yam chunks while others mash the yam to a puree consistency.

  • It is a lunch or dinner staple in many Yoruba homes and a favorite at Owanbe parties.
  • Yam Pottage is usually served with a generous helping of Efo Riro(Stewed Vegetable soup) or Fried Plantain (Dodo) although it is just as delicious when eaten alone!
  • The basic recipe for Yam Pottage is simple and straightforward, and takes just 30-45 minutes to get ready! Many people choose to add a few variations, from choice of protein ranging from smoked fish, dried fish, snails, cow skin (ponmo)
  • Goat meat, stockfish, smoked turkey to fresh shrimps. Some choose to substitute palm oil with vegetable oil.
  • Others add sliced vegetables such as amaranthus, spinach or pumpkin leaves. Asaro is a versatile dish, and you won’t go wrong no matter how you choose to prepare yours!

Here are some cooking tips to note when cooking Yam Pottage.

  • If you’re making your Yam Pottage with Palm Oil, it’s best to use fresh palm oil as stale palm oil will ruin the taste of the Pottage.
  • The yam is already sweet and needs very little seasoning so you must be sparing with your use of seasoning so the taste of the yam is not overshadowed by the taste of the seasoning.
  • Yam pottage is a tasty dish even if you don’t add proteins, but the natural flavors of the mixed proteins give the pottage a richer flavor and add layers of flavor to the taste of the dish.
  • Don’t add too much water. Yam Pottage is best when it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. You can add a little more water if it is necessary but make sure you don’t overdo it.

So, let’s get started.


  • 1/2 Tuber Medium Size White/Puna Yam, washed and chopped into small chunks
  •  2 Cooking Spoons Palm Oil
  • 1/2 Cup of washed and chopped Ugu or Spinach leaves.
  • 2 serving spoons of pepper mix (Red Bell Pepper(Tatashe), 3 medium Tomatoes,1Big Onion, 2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper (Atarodo) Proteins of Choice(Optional) – Ponmo, Smoked fish, Smoked Turkey, Stockfish (Panla) etc.
  • 2 Heaped Tablespoon Ground Crayfish
  • 2 Tablespoons Locust Beans (Iru) (Optional)
  • 1 Seasoning Cube Salt to Taste

How to Prepare Yam Pottage

  • If you’re using meat, wash and boil the meat. Boil the tougher meats like beef or goat meat first, then add the softer protein like ponmo with the stockfish (Panla) and then add the smoked fish chunks.
  • While the meats are cooking, peel and cut the yam into chunks and rinse. Set aside.
  • In a heated pot, add your palm oil, heat for 1 minute then add your chopped onions. Fry until slightly brown.
  • Add your blended mixture of habanero, scotch bonnet pepper, tomatoes, and onions. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the moisture evaporates.
  • While cooking, add your seasoning cube, crayfish, and salt. Stir together. Allow to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Pour in the yam chunks, add your protein of choice and stir together. Cover to cook till the yam is soft and cooked to your satisfaction.
  • When the yam softens, mash half of the yam and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Add in the chopped vegetables, stir in and turn off heat
  • Cover pot to allow the vegetables cook in the residual heat.
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