Ikokore – Nigerian Water Yam Pottage

    Ikokore, also called Ifokore, is a traditional Nigerian dish from the Yoruba ethnic group. It is a deliciously satisfying one-pot meal made from grated water yam, locally known as “Isu Ewura” in Yoruba.

    The yam is the major ingredient for making Ikokore, and it’s what gives its unique and irresistible pudding/porridge texture; it is somewhat similar to the well-known yam pottage, but in this case, there’s a specific yam for it, and it’s grated which gives it the pudding texture.

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    Where Did Ikokore Come From?

    Now, let’s explore the historical origins of this culinary treasure. Ikokore has been a beloved part of Yoruba cuisine for generations, and its roots can be traced back to the southwestern region of Nigeria, precisely Ijebu in Ogun state.

    There’s hardly anyone from the region that’s not a fan of the sumptuous meal; they will tell you if eaten with cold Eba it’s a match made from heaven. Would you love to try it?

    In ancient times, It was often served during special gatherings, festivals, and ceremonies. Its preparation and consumption were steeped in tradition and carried a sense of community and togetherness.

    Traditionally, women were the custodians of this culinary art, and they would gather to prepare the dish together, creating a communal bond. 

    How Do You Eat Ikokore?

    You can eat it as a main dish or side dish, according to Ijebu people cold eba is a perfect combination.

    Can I Use Blender for Ikokore?

    Yes, When preparing Ikokore, you have the option to use either a grater or a blender. If you choose to use a blender, just be careful to maintain that perfect pudding-like texture.

    Here’s a simple tip: blend at a slow speed to avoid making it too soft and losing those delightful lumpy bits. With a little caution, you can still achieve an authentic experience using modern kitchen tools!

    Ikokore Water yam Pottage


    Ikokore, also known as Ifokore, is a traditional Nigerian dish from the Yoruba ethnic group. It is a deliciously satisfying one-pot meal made from grated water yam, locally known as “Isu Ewura” in Yoruba.
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Course Main Dish, Side Dish
    Cuisine Nigerian, West-African


    • 1 Tuber Yam
    • Cooking spoon Palm oil
    • Red scotch bonnet (ata rodo pepper)
    • 2 Smoked fish or iced fish (shredded)
    • 2 Dried fish (panla) shredded
    • 2 Cups Meat and ponmo (cow skin) Shredded
    • 4 Tablespoon Crayfish
    • 2 Cups Smoked prawns(optional)
    • 1 Bunch Vegetable(optional)
    • 1 Teaspoon Iru (locust beans)
    • Salt and seasoning to taste


    • Peel and grate the yam.
      1 Tuber Yam
    • In a pot, heat the palm oil over medium heat until it becomes clear. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
      2½ Cooking spoon Palm oil
    • Add the diced red scotch bonnet pepper to the hot oil. The amount you use depends on your desired level of spiciness, so adjust to your taste.
      Red scotch bonnet (ata rodo pepper)
    • Toss in the shredded smoked fish and dried fish into the pot. Let them fry for a few minutes to release their flavours into the oil.
      2 Smoked fish or iced fish (shredded), 2 Dried fish (panla) shredded
    • Add the shredded meat and ponmo (cow skin) to the pot. Cook everything together until the meat is nicely browned and infused with the spicy oil.
      2 Cups Meat and ponmo (cow skin) Shredded
    • Stir in the crayfish and smoked prawns (if using). This adds an extra layer of rich flavour to the dish.
      4 Tablespoon Crayfish, 2 Cups Smoked prawns(optional)
    • Add the grated yam into the pot, bit by bit, while stirring continuously. This ensures the yam blends nicely with the flavourful mixture.
    • Sprinkle in the Iru (locust beans), and season the mixture with salt and your favourite seasoning.
      1 Teaspoon Iru (locust beans), Salt and seasoning to taste
    • If you're adding vegetables to your Ikokore, wash and chop them finely. Add the chopped vegetables to the pot and stir them in.
      1 Bunch Vegetable(optional)
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the Ikokore cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. This allows the flavours to meld together, and the yam to become soft and tender.
    • Give it a final stir, and your delicious Ikokore is ready to serve!


    Note: You can use a grater or a blender, as per your preference. If using a blender, ensure you blend at a slow speed to maintain a pudding-like texture.
    If using vegetable you can use spinach, ugu (pumpkin leaves), or any leafy green of your choice.
    Ikokore tastes even better the next day, as the flavours continue to develop and intensify. So, if you have any leftovers, consider yourself lucky!
    Keyword ikokore
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!




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