Yoruba Nigerian Cooking Part VI – The Iyan Pounded Yam with a video!

And so we’ve arrived at the main event…the Iyan, or Pounded Yam.

So, a little background on Iyan.

Iyan Pounded Yam.

Iyan Pounded Yam








Traditional Iyan is made of cooked yam pounded into a solid mass using a mortar and pestle.

img courtesy of nigerianokrasoup.wordpress.com

img courtesy of nigerianokrasoup.wordpress.com








Don’t worry, we won’t be working this hard.

Pounded Yam has come a looong way since I grew up making and eating it in Nigeria. It is now widely available in a much easier to prepare powder form. The powder is made of Dried ground yam. The traditional way is of course the best, but that’s a story for another day.  

Today we will be making the powdered form, in the interest of simplicity.


1 C Iyan Powder. (I use the Ola-Ola brand)
3 C Water

Special  Tools:

You will need a rounded bamboo or wooden spoon or spatula for mixing.










Get the sturdiest version you can find, for it will be getting quite a workout.

You will also need a plastic bowl scraper for portioning the Iyan when it is done.












1. Set aside the Iyan powder in a bowl.

2. In a saucepan, bring water to a low boil, then turn off the heat.

3. Quickly, but gradually add the Iyan powder to the water while stirring rapidly. Don’t worry about the lumps that will form. They will smooth out as you add more powder and stir.


add your powder.








It is important not to add too much powder as it will swell up with cooking.

3. Continue to mix and stir until the mass is smooth and elastic. Sprinkle a little bit of cold water over it and give a final stir, then Plate.

That’s it! Wait, wha? Still don’t get it? Here’s a quick video I made to show you how to make it. I hope it helps.

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Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Ingredients/Shopping List
Part 3: Prepping the meats
Part 4: Making the Stew/Obe Ata
Part 5: Okra Stew!
Part 6: The Pounded Yam (Iyan)
Part 7: Putting it all together/Conclusion

3 thoughts on “Yoruba Nigerian Cooking Part VI – The Iyan Pounded Yam with a video!

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