This is not porridge in the sense of oat meal breakfast (ground grain and milk), but ethnic West Africa savory meal, if there are other regions I don’t know of them. It is cassava yam porridge except in this case I used sweet potato or sweet yam.
Cassava yam is the original cultural starch to use, but expensive in the West. However, that has not stopped me from buying it regularly but I just wanted a change this time around.
Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize. Cassava is a major staple food in the developing world, providing a basic diet for over half a billion people. It is one of the most drought-tolerant crops, capable of growing on marginal soils. Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, while Thailand is the largest exporter of dried cassava. Wikipage
Enough of the history. But just wanted to give you a gist of Asaro (Nigerian name) or Mpoto mpoto (Ghanaian name).
- Sweet yams (chopped) plus one token leftover Yukon potato
- Carrots (chopped)
- Dried fish (rehydrated, and deboned)
- Red Bell, Habanero, Red Onions, Garlic (chopped and all blended together)
- Palm oil Online Supplier
- Salt to taste
What you’ll need
- Saute Pot
- Chopping board
What I did
This was quite simple; I put the chopped yam and carrots inside the pot, added a cup of water, rehydrated dried fish and then the pepper sauce. I chose not to boil the yam separately but used the pepper sauce because sweet yam I believe would be softer than cassava; for asaro dish- the clumps of yam should still be present. To the boiling yam in the sauce, I added my seasoning. After the yam was at the desired texture with the lumps still present I added palm oil and let simmer for another 10 minutes or more to finish cooking.
Sweet, delicious like asaro’ and of course with some heat. Every time I feel like asaro and don’t want it to be expensive meal, it will be my first call. *You may also use the conventional cassava yam- a little more water may be required*
Until next time!
Photo from reader B:
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