Porridge (asaro) is a Nigerian delicacy. It has become a regular feature in parties and occasions and not just a meal taken at home.


A medium-sized tuber of yam (serves 5)

Habanero pepper (rodo)

Bell pepper (tatase)


Onions – a medium sized ball

Smoked fish

Pumpkin leaves (ugwu)

Ground crayfish (optional)

Smoked fish (optional)

Vegetable oil

Maggi & salt to taste



It is better to prepare all the ingredients before setting the yam on fire. This is because some yams e.g. ‘wet’ yams don’t take long to boil and you want the ingredients to cook well with the yam.

Wash the vegetables – onions, habanero pepper, bell pepper, and tomatoes and blend them together.

Cut the pumpkin leaves and wash in water. Leave in colander to drain

De-bone the smoked fish; ensure that you remove the intestines and the head – those parts that don’t taste so good.

Now cut the yam into pieces; the pieces should not be too large or small. It should be such that there are pieces of yam intact in the porridge and everything is not mashed together.

Wash and boil the yam. The water level should be at the same level as the yam or slightly lower.

When the water starts to boil and the yam has begun to soften, add the blended vegetables.

Add some vegetable oil – a full cooking spoon.

Add the ground crayfish and smoked fish. Also add maggi and salt to taste.

Allow the porridge to boil till the yam is thoroughly cooked. You can easily test if the yam is done with a fork.

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By now the porridge will have started to thicken. With a ladle break the yam into smaller pieces, however avoid breaking all the pieces otherwise you will be left with only yam paste! There should still be yam pieces intact in the porridge.

Add the pumpkin leaves into the porridge. Stir the contents together.

There you go! The porridge is ready!

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