Pounded Yam

Pounded yam is one of the many yam recipes in Nigeria. It is very delicious, one of the best Nigerian swallows in existence, and also very popular.

It is known as iyan by western Nigerian, foutou in Ivory Coast, fufu in Togo and Benin, and yam fufu in Ghana, and is undoubtedly the most popular traditional yam culinary product in West Africa.

I’m going to tell you all you need to know about this dish, including how to make pounded yam. Keep Reading!

Pounded Yam

If you are new to this food, I’ll explain. It belongs to a group of food we refer to as ‘swallow’ because of the way we eat it. Pounded yam, made with boiling white yam is a sticky dough made traditionally created by pressing and kneading or pounding the yam.

We take a bite from the dish and use our thumb to make an impression on it. Then we eat it with a spoonful of stew or soup.

It’s usually swallowed, although depending on the stew or soup you choose to serve it with, it may take some chewing. Fufu, produced from cassava or cassava flour, Eba, Amala, and other foods of the swallow family.

Where Did Pounded Yam Originate From?

There hasn’t been any confirmed story on how pounded yam came about but it is well cherished in the eastern and western part of Africa. Women are the ones who pound yam the most, but guys do as well.

Pounding yam to make a mashed semi-solid paste is one of the most popular ways to prepare and serve it. While pounding yam may appear to be a brute force workout, there is a strategy to it that varies from ethnic group to ethnic group.

Is Pounded Yam Healthy?

Yes it is. Yams are not only an excellent source of fiber but also high in potassium and manganese, which are important for supporting bone health, growth, metabolism, and heart function. These tubers also provide decent amounts of other micronutrients, such as copper and vitamin C.

How To Prepare Pounded Yam

To make pounded Yam, you’ll need the following ingredients;

Yam – Puna yam, genuine yam, or African yam are all terms used to describe the sort of yam we utilize. It has a tough dark brown skin and off-white meat. They can be cooked in a variety of ways, including boiling, roasting, and frying. If you live outside of Africa, such as in the United States, the ethnic market or online retailers are the best places to find real yams. To understand more about the genuine yam, go here.

Water – the second component is water, which is required to boil the yam until it is fork-tender.

When I was younger, we used a Mortar and Pestle to pound the Yam until it was smooth and doughy. This takes a lot of time, effort, and sweat, but these days one can make use of a hand mixer and other simpler method to make pounded Yam, it’s a lot easier. The trouble with these versions is that it doesn’t taste anything like homemade pounded yam.

3 Simple Ways To Prepare Pounded Yam Without Pounding

When the yam is soft, put it in the blender (in bits) and blend till you achieve a stretchy ball shaped solid. There you go! so easy and stress-free.

Serve with any soup of your choice and enjoy.

2. Use a hand mixer: So, if you do not have a blender or food processor at home, just make use of your hand mixer.

Like using a blender, boil the yam till it’s soft. Put it into the mixing bowl. With the hand mixer, crush the yam until it becomes smooth, stretchy and lump free.

3. Use a pounded yam flour: Like Semo, Amala, Starch and the likes that require heating up water and then pouring the flour in the boiling water as you mix properly, pounded yam can also be prepared in the same manner using pounded yam flour.

Now you can enjoy preparing pounded yam in the most stress-free way as possible.

How To Pound Yam

Start by peeling the yam tubers to remove the skin, then cutting or slicing the tubers into cylindrical pieces. After that, the pieces are boiled in water for around 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the variety. This is commonly referred to as boiled yam.

Pick with a fork and transfer into a mortar then go ahead and pound with a pestle, pound until the yam is seedless and can easily be molded, you can add water and pound until you have a smooth soft pounded yam. Your Pounded yam is ready!

Notes and Tips:

  • You need to know that the yam used for the preparation of pounded yam must have stayed for at least three months on the surface, we don’t use newly harvested yams for the preparation of pounded.
  • When prepping yam for pounding, you’ll need different amounts of water to boil it depending on how dry the yam is. Fresh yams in the early season of the harvest will take less water while yams harvested in the later season will require more water. This also applies during the pounding, you will need more water for the dry yam and less water for the less dry yams.

What To Serve With Pounded Yam

Pounded Yam is best enjoyed while it’s still hot and fresh. Here are some soups and stews that goes well with Pounded Yam

Check out the recipe below.

pounded yam recipe

Pounded Yam

9badee7919e1bc8f9cbce52037381355?s=30&r=gBeatrice Ige
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side Dish, Swallow
Cuisine Nigerian
Calories 236 kcal


  • Mortar and Pestle


  • yam tuber
  • water


  • Peel the skin off the yam and then slice.
  • Put them in the pot and boil till soft, add enough water so as the water in the yam won’t dry up because you will need it while pounding.
  • Scoop the hot yams into a mortar and pound with the pestle, if the yam that you are pounding gets stiff add some of the water used in cooking the yam into the mortar and keep pounding.
  • Pound the yam until it has a stretchy consistency and doesn’t stick when touched.
  • Scoop your pounded yam in a plate.
  • Serve with any Nigeria Soups.
Keyword Pounded Yam, Yam
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Beatrice Igehttps://africanfoodnetwork.com/
My name is Beatrice Ige, A food blogger/Writer/Chef, Also graduated with a diploma in Computer Engineering from Aptech Institute, I have been a passionate food lover since my childhood days, it's a pleasure taking you on a journey with my recipes and articles.

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