Yam is a staple crop in much of Africa, especially in the Western Regions. As such, it has found its way in many popular recipes on the continent. One particular recipe – popular in the western and central regions of Africa, as well as in the Caribbeans – involves deep-fried yam served with a variety of side dishes, the most common of which is spicy tomato sauce and fried fish. In this post, I’ll be showing you how to prepare this meal. Get your grocery list ready and jot down the necessary ingredients….
- Vegetable oil
- Tow pieces of tomato
- One piece of onion
- One piece any hot pepper of your choice (i.e. Jalapeño, Cayenne, bonnet)
- One pieces of Talipia or any other fish your choice
It must be noted that the ingredients will be used to prepare a meal for one person. However, adjusting the recipe for more people is very easy – just add to the ingredients proportionally and in accordance to the number of people being served.
The goal is to prepare three dishes – 1) fried yam, 2) fried or baked fish and 3) spicy tomato sauce. As for which one to prepare first, it’s usually the tomato sauce that is completed first, mainly because the other two dishes are better served fresh.
The tomato sauce requires the use of a blender and could be prepared in a few minutes
- Dice up the tomatoes and pour into the blender
- Cut the hot pepper into several pieces and pour into blender
- Add a pinch of salt
- Grind the diced tomatoes and peppers until slightly liquidfied
- Pour Sauce into a bowl
- Get a half of sliced onion and slice into pieces
- Take sliced onions and spread it over the bowl of spicy tomato sauce
It takes a longer time to prepare the fish than any of the other dishes; the only reason we didn’t prepare it first is because we wanted it to be as fresh as possible when finished. We’ll pepare it before the fried yams because the yams could lose their moisture and become hard and crunchy too quickly, whereas the fried fish maintains its freshness better.
- Scrape scales off the fish
- Pour cooking oil into frying pan and heat for 2 minutes at medium/high heat
- Fry fish until you’re convinced it’s cooked well.
- Once fried, use a drainer to removed any excess oil from the fish
- Put the fried on a plate and you’re done
Preparing the fried yam only takes a few minutes. We’ll be using the same cooking oil used for frying the fish.
- Get a half of a full yam and remove the skin. Wash the yam after
- Chop and dice yam into relatively small pieces (No less than three inches in width and length)
- Heat up cooking oil (same one used for the fish) for two minutes at medium/high heat
- Once heated, place the diced yams into frying pan and fry until they obtain a bright golden color
- Remove golden-crisp yams and put them into an oil drainer
- Once the oil from the yam is sufficiently drained, put them into a bowl or plate, and you’re done.
The Complete Meal
Once we’re done, we should have a bowl (or plate) of fried yams, a bowl of spicy tomato sauce with sliced onions on top, and a fried fish served on a plate. They are eaten together and not one-at-a-time.
Overall, this meal is exceptionally healthy (low in calories and cholesterol), thanks to each ingredient. According to Wikipedia, Yams are high in Vitamin C, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese, while being low in saturated fat and sodium. Tomatoes are also high vitamin C content and contain significant amount of vitamin A, B. Fish, especially saltwater fish, are generally high in Omega 3 fatty acids (good for the brain) and heart-friendly. The cooking oil, especially if using olive oil (which is good for the heart), could also be healthy.
Health rating: *****