How to make Pounded Yam? Pounded yam is one rich staple food enjoyed by different ethnic groups in Nigeria. It is a popular West African dish made from yam tubers. Though there is an alternative like Poundo yam flour, it can never be the same as the pounded yam that is made with freshly boiled yams.
Pounded yam holds an esteemed place in Nigerian cuisine, particularly among the Yoruba people, and is often served during special occasions, traditional events and family gatherings. It rich texture and unique preparation methods make it a cherished food that showcases the culinary heritage of Nigeria.
What is Pounded Yam
It’s a starchy side dish that is pounded until it reaches a smooth and stretchy consistency. Traditionally, mortar and pestle are used to pound the yam, but there are also modern kitchen appliances like yam pounders that can make the process easier.
Pounded yam is sometimes prepared for special occasions, celebrations, and festive gatherings. It can be a centerpiece of holiday feasts and ceremonies. In Nigeria and other West African countries where pounded yam is a staple food, it is commonly consumed as part of lunch or dinner. It’s versatile and can be paired with a variety of soups such as egusi soup, okra soup, or vegetable soup, making it suitable for different meals.
What specie of yams is use to make punded yam
Not all yam species can be use to make pounded yam. While there are various types of yams, the most common species of yam used to make the Nigerian pounded yam is the white yam, scientifically known as Dioscorea rotundata.
Other Nigerian Staple Foods
How to Make Pounded Yam?
Here’s how to make pounded yam using the traditional mortar and pestle:
Keep in mind that making pounded yams using a mortar and pestle can be labor-intensive, and it may take some practice to achieve the desired texture. If you have access to a yam pounder or food processor, you can use those appliances to make the process easier and less physically demanding.
Ingredients to Make Pounded Yam:
- Yam tubers (typically 1-2 yams depending on the number of servings)
Important Notice For Water Usage
The quantity of water required to boil yam will fluctuate based on its moisture content. Freshly harvested yams at the beginning of the season demand less water, whereas yams harvested later in the season necessitate a greater amount of water. This principle also extends to the pounding process, with drier yams requiring more water and less dry yams requiring less water.
Directions on How to make Pounded Yam
- Start by peeling the yam with a knife. Cut it into small, evenly-sized chunks. This will help it cook faster and more evenly.
- Place the yam chunks in a pot and add enough water to cover them. (Never should you add salt to the yam.) Bring the water to a boil and cook the yam until it’s soft and can be easily pierced with a fork. This usually takes about 15-25 minutes, but the cooking time may vary depending on the size of the yam chunks.
- Once the yam is fully cooked, transfer the cooked yam chunks to a mortar and start pounding them with a pestle. Use a pounding and twisting motion to break down the yam into a smooth, stretchy consistency. This can be a physically demanding process, so it may take some time and effort.
- To prevent the pounded yam from being too stiff or dry, you can add a small amount of warm water to the mortar to make it smoother. Continue pounding until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Once the pounded yam is smooth and stretchy, transfer it to a serving plate or bowl.
Pounded yam is typically served as an accompaniment to various soups. It is mostly enjoyed with any Nigerian soup.