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Pounded Yam (Iyan) Recipe

Pounded Yam recipe also called Iyan by the Yoruba people of Nigeria is a very popular delicacy among Nigerians and other Western African countries.

Pounded Yam (Iyan) Recipe

The popularity of pounded yam did not just come out of nowhere, this is because it is a very delicious meal that gets a whole lot of people salivating and wanting more.

Iyan can be taken with various soups, ranging from egusi soup to okra soup, from vegetable soup to pepper stew and more. However, I love it best when served with egusi and a mixture of vegetable.

In ancient Southern Nigerian communities, especially among Yoruba, Benin and Calabar people, eating pounded yam signifies royalty and class; it signifies living a good life. However, it is not really like that any longer, but iyan is still seen as a rich man’s food.

Many people in Nigeria and outside Nigeria love pounded yam but they do not know how to prepare it. This article will serve as guide for you as you are taken through step by step on how you can prepare pounded yam or iyan.

Iyan, also known as pounded yam simple means pounded yam. In other words, iyan is a kind of yam that is being pounded.

In recent times however, aside from pending it, you can make iyan via various styles such as blending, grinding and turning. Pounded yam or Iyan can be likened to mashed potatoes, but in the case of pounded yam, it rarely has chunks left in it – almost smooth.

How to Prepare Pounded Yam (Iyan)

In order to prepare pounded yam, we present you the ingredients needed for it:

  1. Yam – Puna yam or African yam is the best type of yam to use for iyan; they smoothen quickly
  2. Water – Boil the yam using water until it softens before pounding to a smooth state

Pounded Yam (Iyan) Recipe

Items Needed for Preparing Pounded Yam


  • You can use mortar and pestle – This is what I grew up with – although, it could prove to be stressful.
  • Hand mixer – This is another item you can use, with this, you don’t have to break a sweat
  • Grinding machine – If you are catering for many people, then, this is the ideal equipment to use, life just got easier.

Steps for Preparation


  1. Peel the yam
  2. Cut the peeled yam into small chunks
  3. Rinse twice or thrice with clean water
  4. Boil for about 25-30 minutes until the yam softens
  5. Pound with mortar and pestle until it is smooth with no chunks left (if you are using mortar and pestle)
  6. Blend using hand mixer until it smoothens and without traces of chunks (if you are using hand mixer)
  7. Grind lightly until it smoothens and with no trace of chunks (if you are using grinding machine)


NOTE: You should do what you or others can take at one serving. Preserving iyan for over 8 hours will make it lose quality and taste. 

Final Thoughts on Pounded Yam Recipe

Pounded yam is one delicious meal that you should not miss out on. It is a delicacy cherished by many South-Westerner of Nigeria. Preparing Iyan or pounded yam could prove difficult at times. With this guide on pounded yam recipe, doing that shouldn’t be difficult any longer.




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