Recipes and Cuisine from Nigeria

All about the delicious cuisine from Nigeria

Posts Tagged ‘pounded yam’

Pounded Yam (Iyan)

Posted by Paige on April 9, 2010

Pounded Yam, also called Iyan by the Yorubas of Nigeria, is a popular African recipe eaten all over West Africa.   It is similar to mashed potato, but has a heavier and smoother consistency, and is much more tastier.   It is generally eaten with a stew or vegetable soup.

The traditional method of making pounded yam involves cooking some yam and then pounding it.  To cook, the yam’s exterior skin is peeled and the inner white flesh is cut into small and regular pieces.  It is then placed in a boiling pan of salted water and cooked until soft.  Once cooked, the yam pieces are pounded using a mortar and pestle until it forms into a smooth and firm dough.

These days, and especially in communities outside Africa, it may not be practical to pound yam uisng the traditional method.   Yam flour, consisting of the dehydrated flour of yams, can provide an alternative and simpler way to make pounded yam.   To prepare, simply bring some water to boil in a pan and then sprinkle in the yam flour.  Mix until it reaches your desired consistency, then cover and leave it to cook for about 5-10 minutes.

You can buy Yam Flour from most African or even Asian food stores in major cities.


Posted in main courses, nigerian cuisine, yam dishes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Egusi Soup

Posted by Paige on April 9, 2010

Egusi Soup, also called melon soup,  is native to Nigeria, West Africa.   It is a soup thickened with dried and powdered melon seeds from a particular type of melon, grown in the eastern part of Nigeria.

The main ingredients in Egusi Soup include water, oil, ground melon seeds, a green leafy vegetable, meat and seasoning.  The typical meats used include goat, beef, shrimps, crayfish, chicken and fish.  It is generally served accompanied with pounded yam or eba.

This delicious dish is very filling, rich in nutrients, and is a firm favorite of my husband, who would have it everyday, given half the chance!

Egusi Soup Recipe – Serves 4


  • 2 cups ground egusi
  • 3-4 cups Ugu or Okazi leaves, washed and drained
  • 1x cup ground crayfish
  • 2x medium dried fish – like catfish
  • 1.5lbs beef
  • Mixed meat (about 1/4lb each) – tripe, cowfoot, and oxtail
  • 1x cup of palm oil
  • 2x tablespons dried & crushed red chillies, or 6 fresh finely chopped red chillies (scotch bonnet)
  • Beef seasoning or 4 small cubes of Maggi seasoning
  • 1x large onion
  • 1x teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3x cups fresh tomatoes, blended with a blender or pureed.

Wash the beef and assorted meat.  Place in a large pot, chop the onion and add 1/3 of the chopped onion to the pot.  Add a cup of water, season with salt and cover.  Bring to the boil and leave to cook on low heat for 1 hour.

Wash the dried fish, break into pueces and add to the pot.  Leave to cook for 25 minutes.  Take the beef, assorted meat and fish out of the pot and set aside, reserving any stock.  Place the empty pot back on the cooker and add the oil  to the pan.  Once the oil is heated, add the rest of the onion, chopped or dried chillies, and pureed tomatoes – fry gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  A

Next, add the egusi and cook for 5 minutes.    Add the seasoning, thyme, curry powder, tground crayfish, assorted meat, beef, and fish stock, as well as the stock.   Stir and let it cook for a couple if minutes, before adding the vegetable leaves.  Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve hot with pounded yam, eba or any other fufu.

Posted in main courses, nigerian cuisine, soups, stews, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »