Pounded yam recipe courtesy of The Nigerian Cookbook by Miriam Isoun and H.O. Antonio
Pounded yam is a typically Nigerian meal made from vigorously pounding boiled yam in a mortar with a pestle or with an electronic pounding machine. Electronic yam-pounding machines are sold in stores that will boil and pound yam. The quality of the pounded yam is comparable to that done by hand with a mortar and pestle. The varieties of yam known to be good for pounding are usually higher in protein and sugar than those used for boiling.
- Scrub yam, peel and cut it into chunks or slices, and subsequently place in a pot with water to cover.
- Cover and cook until it can be pierced easily with a fork.
- Pound in a mortar one piece at a time, until a mass forms that pulls away from the sides of the mortar and is elastic to the touch. (With the most powerful mixers, this can be done quite successfully, but since very little water is used and the final product is very firm, do not try it with standard mixers).
- Pounding is really not as difficult as it looks, especially when small quantities are being prepared, and everyone loves pounded yam, so it is worth the effort!
- Pounded yam is served with soups and stews of many types at main meals.
- As a variation, boil some ripe plantain with the yam and subsequently pound it with the yam.