Porridge Yams aka Potash, Asaro – An easy one pot meal, made with yams and leafy greens enjoyed throughout West Africa also known as Sese Yams in Cameroon.
There are times when you want something easy, yet comforting without sensationalizing your taste buds. When that feeling hits…I think of the lovable porridge yams.
Yams are starchy tubers that are grown in most countries in Africa, South America, Caribbean, South Pacific and Asia – with each country have its own variety.
They are not comparable to the sweet yams grown in North America – which are softer (when cooked) and overly sweet. These African yams are firm and tender, when cooked.
There are different species of yams in Africa some white, some yellow, and in certain parts of West Africa you have sweet yams (which are firm in texture).
Porridge yam is a one pot meal that is prepared with white or yellow yams or any starchy tuber (cocoyam, plantains, cassava, potatoes); However, when you use a different starch, it takes the name of the starchy tuber. Just like porridge plantains
In this recipe, yams are peeled, cut into big chunks and then cooked in tomatoes, onions, and chicken until tender. You can use boneless chicken thighs or bone in. Either works just fine.
A more traditional way of making this is to include smoked/dried fish. Dried Fish is sometimes hard to come by and is pricey too, that is if you live abroad. A great substitute is smoked turkey.
After the yams are tender, you can either smash it, to make porridge also known as Asaro in Nigeria or leave as is. I prefer chunks of yams.
Most people add bitter leaves to the porridge yams for its nutritional value and taste. A great substitute would be any dark leafy greens.
I used my leftover bag of leafy greens; kale, collard greens and spinach.
Throw in some hot pepper for some extra heat and you are good to go. Your cooking time will vary depending on protein used. Be sure to cooked the chicken first until tender before adding yams.
Serve immediately or warm.
- 2-3 pound of yam sub potatoes
- 1 1/2 - 21/2 pounds chicken cut in chunks
- ¼ cup or more canola or vegetable oil
- 3 Fresh Tomatoes
- ½ medium Onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 Teaspoon creole seasoning spice
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika optional
- 1 habanero pepper or scotch bonnet optional
- 3-4 cups ( Fresh leafy Greens
- 1/4 cup ground cray fish
- 2 Tablespoons palm oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon or more chicken bouillon powder
- Peel the yam with a sharp knife, peeling away from your body carefully draw the paring knife down the body of the yam, being careful not to remove too much of the yam in during the process.
- Look for any spoiled spots, such as bruising and discoloration, in the yam as you peel. Remove the spots away with the tip of the knife.
- Cut into large chunks and wash immediately to prevent discoloration and leave them in cool water until ready to use.
- In a blender puree the tomatoes, onions and garlic
- Heat up a non-stick pan or dutch oven with vegetable oil and pour in the tomato , onion and garlic blend . Add chicken, Maggie powder or chicken bouillon ,white pepper , creole seasoning or salt saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add 4- cups of water or more ,bring to boil -cook until chicken is tender about 25 minutes or adjust cooking times depending on chicken use. Boneless would be considerably less.
- slowly add the yams and cook on medium – heat for about 15 minutes .Add water as needed, you may throw in the a whole or ground pepper at this time.
- Finally add greens, mix, let it simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Again adjust for salt and pepper
- Turn off heat and serve warm