NIGERIA: Shakirat’s Yam Balls

‘Back home not everyone adds fish to the yam balls, but personally I find the smoky flavour and aroma of smoked mackerel pairs well with the refreshing tomato sauce.’ ACN Project partner.


For the yam balls
1 yam, peeled and chopped into medium chunks
2 smoked mackerel fillets
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Half a cube of vegetable or chicken stock
150 g of breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
Vegetable oil, enough to completely cover the yam balls for deep frying

For the sauce
3 mixed sweet pepper, diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
Half a cup of sunflower oil (add more if needed)
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of thyme
Black pepper to taste


  • Boil the chopped yam in salted water until you could easily stick in a fork, adding water if too starchy.
  • Drain the yams when cooked, add salt and pepper to taste, 1⁄2 of a stock cube (sprinkled) and mix and mash.
  • Once you have reached a nice mash, crumble the smoked mackerel fillets into the mixture and fold.
  • Shape the mixture into medium sized balls.
  • Coat the balls in breadcrumbs by first rolling them in a plate of the whisked egg, and then in a plate of breadcrumbs.
  • Fry the balls in sunflower oil or grill in the oven. You should have enough to make about twenty balls.
  • In a frying pan, fry the onions in the oil until soft, add the mixed pepper and let them cook gently for 2 minutes.
  • Add the puree, the stock, curry, thyme, and black pepper and let it cook for 4 minutes on a high heat.
  • Lower the heat, letting the mixture simmer for 10 more minutes until all the flavours are absorbed and the vegetables are soft.
  • Serve the balls with the sauce