Water yam is one of the core ingredients in making ojojo. Ojojo is a Yoruba word that means grated, spiced-up and deep-fried water yam, a traditional Nigerian snack or finger food.
Sometimes, it’s called water yam fritters in English because when grated, it looks like fritters. This Nigerian celebration food is appropriate for vegetarians.
Some people also called it akara because it looks exactly like the Nigerian Akara with the color and viscous texture as the only difference.
When this same grated water yam is cooked as a pottage rather than deep-fried, then it is referred to as ikokore.
Aside from these two dishes (ojojo and ikokore), grated water yam (locally called isu ewura or isu ehura) is suitable for nothing else.
Baking, boiling or pounding the yam do not produce good results.
If you have never eaten any traditional yam plant recipes before, Ojojo will be nice to start with.
Ojojo is rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre, minerals, and vitamins. It is particularly high in calcium and copper.
However, if you can’t get the older water yam with less water content, you can still make use of the new one.
Leave it in the fridge after grating for a while to be cold and firm up before frying the paste in oil.
Water yams are of different species, there are some that turn brown immediately after peeling, while some don’t.
Authentic ojojo is made with water yam, though we have other different ways of preparing ojojo.
You can use normal yam, sweet potatoes as a great substitute and the taste will still be amazing.
Water Yam Recipe
Ojojo food is easy to prepare, the whole process from start to finish should take no more than 45 minutes
2 Medium size Water Yam tubers
2 tablespoons dried pepper or Rodo
1 small red onion
½ bottle of vegetable oil
1 Onga seasoning cube
Salt to taste
- Firstly, peel the water yams and clean thoroughly, grate water yams into a thick fine texture.
- Secondly, add dried pepper or ground rodo, onions (chopped or ground), seasoning cube, salt, and mix thoroughly.
- After that, pour enough vegetable oil in a saucepan/frying pan allow to heat and ready for deep frying.
- Then scoop the mix into oil just enough to cover the pan and fry on medium heat for about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Due to deep frying, all sides should cook evenly with no need to flip. Turn one side then the other side until golden brown.
- Lastly, remove the balls from the oil and drain on paper towels, repeat the same process with the remaining paste.
You can eat Ojojo with pretty much anything you eat Akara with. Eat it on its own as a snack or side dish. Enjoy!