How to Make Pounded Yam – A step by step Guide

Pounded yam is a staple dish in many West African countries, including Nigeria. It is made by boiling yam until it is soft, then mashing or pounding it until it becomes smooth and fluffy. This dish is often served with soup, stew, or sauce, and is a staple food in many households across the region.

Making pounded yam at home can seem intimidating, but with a few simple steps, anyone can make this delicious dish. Here is a comprehensive guide to making the perfect pounded yam.


  • 1 large yam
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)


  1. Choose a large yam that is firm and without any bruises. Peel the yam and cut it into smaller pieces.
  2. Place the yam pieces in a pot and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt (if desired) and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and let the yam simmer until it is soft and tender. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.
  4. Drain the yam and let it cool for a few minutes.
  5. Place the yam in a large mortar or bowl and start pounding it with a wooden pestle. Pound the yam until it is smooth and free of lumps. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Continue to pound the yam, occasionally turning the mixture and adding small amounts of water if necessary, until it becomes fluffy and elastic.
  7. Serve the pounded yam hot with your favorite soup, stew, or sauce.

Note: Pounded yam can also be made using a blender or food processor. Simply blend the cooked yam in small batches until it becomes smooth and fluffy. However, traditionalists argue that the texture and taste of the pounded yam is better when made by hand using a mortar and pestle.

What is the difference between fufu and pounded yam?

Fufu and pounded yam are both traditional staple foods in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria. They are both made from starchy root vegetables and serve as a side dish to accompany soups and stews.

The difference between fufu and pounded yam lies in the preparation and texture. Fufu is made by boiling starchy root vegetables such as cassava, yam or plantains, mashing them until they form a smooth, sticky dough-like texture. Fufu is usually served in small balls that can be broken apart and used to scoop up soup or stew.

Pounded yam, on the other hand, is made by boiling yam until it is soft, then mashing it by hand or with a pounder until it forms a smooth, silky texture. The process of pounding the yam helps to release the starch and create a fluffy, velvety texture. Poundo yam, a popular instant variation of pounded yam, is made from a dry yam flour that is reconstituted with hot water and then pounded to form a smooth dough.

In summary, while fufu and pounded yam are similar in that they are both starchy side dishes, the texture and preparation of the two are quite different.

What is the best soup to eat with pounded yam?

Some of the most popular soups to eat with pounded yam include:

  1. Egusi soup: A thick, hearty soup made with ground melon seeds and vegetables.
  2. Okra soup: A thick, creamy soup made with okra and vegetables, often seasoned with spices and palm oil.
  3. Oha soup: A flavorful soup made with the Oha leaf, a type of leafy green vegetable, and seasoned with spices and palm oil.
  4. Efo riro: A spicy vegetable soup made with a blend of leafy greens, vegetables and spices.
  5. Ofe Nsala: A rich and spicy white soup made with ground crayfish, palm oil and spices.

These are just a few of the many soups that are commonly eaten with pounded yam in Nigeria. The best soup to eat with pounded yam will depend on personal taste and the occasion. However, these soups are known for their flavorful and hearty combination with pounded yam, making it a popular and filling meal in Nigeria.

Pounded yam is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It is a staple food in many West African households, and is often served with a variety of soups, stews, and sauces. Whether you are a fan of spicy foods, or prefer more mild and savory flavors, pounded yam is a delicious and satisfying dish that is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

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