Creamy Coconut Yam Mash

My recipe today is an adaptation of the very popular Nigerian Yam dish called Asaro or Ebe in the Yoruba language. Asaro is basically made of yam, a combination of peppers tomatoes and onions and a generous helping of red palm oil. The dish created is best described as a pottage due to its dense and thick consistency.

Sometime ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine who caters for events, especially inter racial weddings. Her clients are typically western or westernised so she has done a lot in the area of modernising Nigerian cuisine to suit the western palette without loosing the Nigerian food identity.

Funke Koleosho's Creamy Coconut Yam Mash
I was particularly impressed with what she had done with Asaro and was inspired to create my very own signature mashed yam dish. Because western people are already familiar with mashed potatoes, she created a not so spicy mashed yam dish with added creaminess using crème fraîche...! Even though I did not get a chance to taste it, I was able to imagine the wonderful creaminess the resulting dish would have. And as she told me that it was often a favourite with her western clients, I could see the reason why...

Back in my kitchen, I embarked on creating a new Asaro recipe which would boast of similar creaminess as my friend's mashed yam dish. Straightaway, I knew what to add... Creamy Coconut Milk!

Creamy Coconut Yam Mash

So I did,,,,I added coconut milk to my dish and I was totally amazed. I loved it.

What you need
  • Half of a medium sized Puna or Abuja yam....about 800g (Peel and dice yam and rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of sand)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • I large red pepper
  • 1 cup of chicken stock 
  • I small yellow scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk 
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Pre-made pepe sauce (get recipe here)

What to do
  1. Blend the tomatoes, onion and peppers in a blender. Transfer into a large pot and add the chicken stock. 
  2. Allow to boil for about 3 minutes then add the diced yam pieces. Add some water enough to cook the yam. 
  3. Cover the pot and allow yam to cook. This could be about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the diced yam. Cook until yam is soft. Check by pricking the yam pieces with a fork. 
  4. Taste the emerging dish and adjust salt and sugar as desired
  5. Using a wooden spoon, begin to mash and stir the yam within the pot. Stir well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed. 
  6. Now add the coconut milk and continue to mash and stir. Adjust consistency as you desire by adding some hot water. 
  7. Cover and simmer for another 3 minutes under very low heat. 
  8. Serve hot with some pepper sauce, grilled fish and a side salad.

Coconut Yam Mash

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