Yam porridge with plantain (asaro Ologede) is a delicious and comforting one-pot meal, which is easy to prepare, quite nutritious and very filling.
Yam porridge is a simple meal of yam chunks cooked in a pepper sauce with traditional spices, which is enjoyed across West Africa. It is called "Asaro" in the Western part of Nigeria, "Mpotompoto" in Ghana and "Sese yams" in Cameroon. Yam is one of the most commonly consumed staple food in West Africa. African yam is different to what Americans refer to as yam. If you are not familiar with African yams, please read this post.
I have been going to the market in my area a lot lately; and so have been buying a lot of plantains. For some reasons, plantain that feels firm and appears unblemished at the market quickly becomes dark and soft in a day or two, so I have been finding ways to use them up. Yam porridge with plantain is an enjoyable way to use up those soft and black plantains.
The sweetness of the plantain works well, and balances the savoury taste of the porridge, which is my some people add sugar to their yam porridge. Plantain adds sweet, but complex flavours to yam porridge and definitely tastes better than sugar. Once you try it, you will never add sugar to yam porridge again.
How To Prepare Yam Porridge With Plantain
This yam and plantain porridge recipe is suitable for vegetarians.
Asaro is very adaptable and you can add whatever you like. It goes very well with fish and seafood, and some people even add meat to theirs. How chunky the yam pieces also depends on preference – Some people just mash the yam a bit to get chunky pieces, while others like it less chunky. I like mine to be a quite mushy, with very little yam pieces.
Add green leafy vegetables to yam porridge to make it more nutritious. I added spinach at the end of cooking, but if you are using tough greens like ugwu (pumpkin leaves) or kale, add at the same time as you add the plantain.
Palm-oil gives the yam porridge its signature orange colour, but this could be substituted with your preferred oil.
If you are not familiar with yams, it could be quite tricky to peel. This video shows how to do it easily.
Finally, a piece of advice – Blended peppers, tomatoes and onions form the base of a lot of Nigerian cooking. If you have a freezer, it is best to blend more than you need at once and freeze what is left to be used for other dishes.
Yam Porridge With Plantain | Asaro Ologede
- 1 Bell pepper
- 1 Scotch bonnet
- 1 Beef tomato
- 2 Onions
- 1 kg Yam ½, medium tuber
- Salt to taste
- 1 Plantain
- 2 tablespoons Palm-Oil
- ½ teaspoon Ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon Mild curry powder
- Spinach a handful
- Blend one onion with the bell pepper, scotch bonnet and tomato. Keep aside
- Chop the remaining onion.
- Peel the yam and cut into cubes
- Add into a pan with a enough water to cover the yam. Add the chopped onions with some salt and cover the pan.
- Allow to cook until the yam is soft. This should take no more than 15 mins.
- While the yam is cooking, prepare the plantain.
- Cut the top and end of the plantain off, then make a cut into the skin with a knife.
- Remove the skin and cut the plantain into big chunks.
- When the yam is cooked, reduce the heat to low and tip out some of the water into a bowl. Keep as you may need it if porridge too thick.
- Taste the yam and add more salt if required.
- Add the plantain, the blended pepper mix, curry powder, ginger and palm-oil.
- Bring the heat back to medium.
- Cover the pan and allow to cook for about 10 mins.
- Reduce the heat and mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher to the consistency you prefer.
- When you are happy with the consistency, stir in the spinach and cover the pan.
- Remove from heat and leave for a few minutes, so the spinach can wilt before serving.
If you enjoy the sweet and savoury combination of yam porridge with plantain. You might enjoy this plantain pancake.