If you have been following me for just 5 mins or more, you will know that I love plantain!
Well, my love of plantain is second only to my all out love for yam. My love for yam goes waaay back ...all the way back to when I was a small small pekin, as it features heavily in Delta cuisine.
Yam has a dense, chewy texture and a pleasant sweet taste, a little like sweet potato...but better! It's a dense carbohydrate that is super filling, but at the same time very easy to digest. This makes it especially suitable for those of us with digestive issues.
Yam is grown and eaten throughout Nigeria and features in many dishes. In fact, over 70% of Yams sold around the world come from Nigeria! There are many different tubers called yam but the version used in this recipe is most commonly called African yam. You can find this yam at ethnic food stores if you live in Europe, US or Middle East.
When I'm craving a quick, hearty mid-week meal I make this yam stew. It has a rich tomato sauce which is a simple one to make, without too many ingredients. Unrefined palm oil and scotch bonnet peppers give this dish its distinctive, rich taste.
The great thing about stew is that the recipe is totally flexible, forgiving enough to throw in any protein or extra spice of your choosing! Usually i make stew in bulk and freeze for later, but for this one I just cook enough to eat fresh. You can freeze yam but like potato, it doesn't taste the same defrosted.
Scotch bonnet peppers are used in a quantity that adds flavour rather than heat. If you don't mind a bit of heat, then I would recommend using half to one piece of scotch bonnet pepper. if you like your food even hotter, than its a free country - add as much as you like!! Palm oil gives this dish a deep orange colour and a unique flavour.
Hing powder and green scallion tips take the place of onion. Hing comes from the resin of fennel plants and has a strong sulphur odor that fades to a pleasant flavour during cooking. A definite must for this stew. If you are not sensitive to onion, you could replace the scallion tip and hing powder with 1 medium onion.
Dried crayfish also give an added depth of flavour. If you haven't eaten or cooked with dried crayfish before though, its worth noting that dried crayfish has a very strong, pungent aroma!! If you aren't super keen on fish definitely leave them out.
I keep a pot of thyme growing in my fridge. I like to add a generous amount to this stew. If you have it to hand, you may want to try it too!
If you decide to give this recipe a go, share your thoughts, pictures and recipe tweaks. Good luck!
Notes before we get cooking!
FODMAP red, amber green rating reflects the total amount of Fructose (FTS), Lactose (L), Mannitol (M), Sorbitol (S), Galactooligosaccharide (GOS) and Oligos Fructans (FTA) in the TOTAL volume/weight of the ingredients used in the recipe.
This recipe makes approximately 4 servings yam stew (1 serving pictured). How many servings you eat is totally up to you!
I'm a big fan of simple recipes that don't need fancy equipment. For this recipe it does help to have a blender and a big pan with a lid.
Use a blender to blend the red pepper, tomato, scallion green tops and hing powder. If you add a few vegetables at a time blending as you go, there is no need to them chop first!
Put on some gloves. Cut up your desired amount of scotch bonnet pepper and also add to the blender. Set aside the blended vegetable mix. Remove gloves, taking care not to touch your eyes or mouth.
Add 1/2 cup canola oil to a pan with a lid and heat on high for 3-4 mins
Take the pan off the heat and transfer to a safe heatproof surface. Pour the blended vegetable mix into the oil and cover immediately (the addition of the blended vegetables (containing water) causes the oil to bubble. It can spit so please take care).
When the bubbling subsides remove the lid and place the pan back on a medium heat. Add your yam, spices, (dried crayfish if using), palm oil and tomato paste and bring to the boil.
When the soup begins to boil turn the heat down to a low bubble. Add salt to taste and simmer until the stew reduces in volume by 1/3. You will know that the stew is cooked as it turns from a pale red/pink colour to a deep red orange and the yam becomes soft.
Serve and enjoy!
I'm very passionate about the management of autoimmune conditions in a healthy way.
I speak with medical professionals, read journals, try and test new recipes to share with you and diligently undertake research online. That being said, as you know, each autoimmune disease, as well as any set of symptoms you may be experiencing are unique.
All information provided is in no way intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure the appropriateness of any information in relation to your own situation.
And finally, please comment and share so we as a community better cope with our conditions by through growth and learning.