INSIDER KITCHEN: How to make water yam porridge (Ikokore)

IKOKORE

Ikokore, also known as Ifokore, is a Nigerian yam porridge dish made with water yam (Isu Ewura), rather than the common white yam. A proper Ijebu-born will make no joke while describing the indigenous meal, which is not only known in Ogun state but beyond Nigeria.

To really enjoy this special delicacy, you’ll need to add as many proteins as possible to enrich it. The likes of Shaki, Ponmo, goat meat, smoked fish, Eja Shawa, Panla, Eja Kika will surely make mouth drool in fantasy.

The Ikokore recipe requires no blended pepper. Scotch Bonnet (Ata rodo) will do and in some cases, dry ground pepper (Ata gungun). For lovers of meals with less spice, Sombo (Red bell pepper) is a preferable option. Ikokore is best enjoyed alone or served with Cold Pap or Cold Eba.

To cook, you’ll need:

  • Half Tuber Water yam

    Palm Oil
  • Beef Stock Water
  • Shombo (Long red pepper)

    Scotch Bonnet (Ata Rodo)
  • 1-2 Smoked Fish (Eja Kika) or Shawa (Bonga fish) (Optional)
  • Pieces Dried Fish (Panla) Shredded (Optional)
  • Cooked Meat (either Shaki and Ponmo)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Crayfish
  • 1 Teaspoon Ogiri Ijebu (Fermented Locust Beans)
  • 2 Knorr Chicken Cubes (Seasoning of your preference)
  • Salt (to taste)

PREPARATION

Slice your water yam into small pieces. Peel each piece, then grate using the smallest part of your grater…
When you’re done grating the water yam, add seasoning or salt with 1 tablespoon of crayfish. Mix together. If you can tolerate the heat, you can add some Pepper as well. Then set aside…
Blend the Shombo/Tatashe and Scotch Bonnet till smooth and set aside. But If you’re using just Scotch Bonnet, just blend on its own…

Get a medium-size pot and place it on medium heat. When it’s hot, add the palm oil, locust beans afterwards. Cook the locust beans for a minute, then add the blended pepper, then the Knorr cubes and salt to taste. If you’re using stock, do not add salt as your stock is already seasoned.

Leave to fry till oil floats on the surface. This should take more or less 10 minutes, stir constantly to prevent burning.
Add the beef stock if you’re using any, otherwise, add water and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the shredded cooked meats, fish and any other proteins you’re using, then the ogiri, leave to cook for 8-10 minutes. Remove all the meat and fish from the stew, leaving just the stew in the pot.

Reduce the cooking tool’s heat, add the grated yam into the stew, do this in both big and small lumps. The small lumps will dissolve in the stew, forming a mushy type while the bigger lumps will create the lumpy Ikokore consistency. Do not stir, leave the contents to boil for 8-10 minutes on low heat.

Then you can stir a bit using a wooden spoon. Stir and break up clumps if you find it too clumpy or leave as it is if you don’t mind, I don’t like mine too clumpy. Now, taste for salt and seasoning, adjust if necessary.
Add the cooked meats and fish back into the pot, add the rest of the crayfish, be careful when doing this so you don’t break the clumps. Leave to heat for 3–5 minutes.

Your special, homemade Ikokore delicacy is ready! Enjoy!

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Author

  • Omotosho Gloria popularly know as Dabira. A political scientist, a writer that covers Entertainment, AAUA hoes and Interview beats for AAUA INSIDER.Also looking up to be a very good human rights activist.

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