Pounded yam is a smooth dough of mashed yam often eaten with a vegetable soup or stew.
It is sometimes called pounded iyan (Iyan being the Yoruba word for pounded yam). It is much like mashed potatoes, but smoother, heavier, and tastier.
It is a very popular African food, especially in the middle belt, eastern and southern Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Cost (Côte d'Ivoire), Benin and some other parts of West Africa.
Pounded yam is classified as a special delicacy. It is a highly prestigious meal all over Africa.
Pounded yam is thus an authentic African food! Presenting a dish of pounded yam and ogbono soup to visitors in Edo land in Nigeria for example, is considered a great act of hospitality.
Traditionally, pounded yam is made by boiling yams in a pot, and once cooked, it is placed in a mortar and pounded or beaten into a smooth textured dough with a three – five foot tall pestle.
Thanks to modern technology: there are now a couple of ways now to ease the preparation of pounded yam. One way is by slicing yam into small sizes, have them pealed and place in a yam pounder.
This automated electrical device gets the yam cooked. Once cooked, it switches into a blending mode and crushes the yam, then mashes it into a smooth semisolid paste or dough.
The other way is even easier and popular especially outside Africa. This involves yam been processed into a dried powder (dehydrated yam flour) either by sun drying yam or commercially using desiccating machines.
All you need to do is sprinkle the yam flour into a pot of boiling water and stir the mixture until you obtain your desired texture, then you allow this to cook for a few minutes. You can see full details of how to prepare yam flour here at the pounded yam recipe section.
A meal of pounded yam with vegetable soup provides a very rich and balanced diet.
Yam in it self has been hailed as one of the most nutritious food known to man. Apart from been rich in fibre, protecting the bowel against diseases like diverticulitis, it is a great source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium, and phosphorus. Yam also is rich in protein.
Some pounded yam flour contains sulfites as preservatives. If you are usually very allergic to food preservatives, there are chances that you may be allergic to sulfites.
Please read the label of any processed tuber flour, be it yam or potatoes flours for the presence of this chemical. Note that not all make of yam flours contains this.
Please read more on yam here