• Yield: Serves 4

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking, 55 minutes total

The floury texture of boiled yam makes it akin to the famous Irish potato and it can be a great addition to curries and potages. This recipe combines my love of Nkatsenkwan (groundnut stew) with the two simple Ghanaian staples of yam and plantain. This was the way I ate it as a child, when the lamb had gone from the pot and there was always leftover peanut sauce (both my mum and dad cooked it in great vats), which you could then add to some boiled yam and plantain. It makes a great alternative veggie curry!


  • 300g (10 1/2 oz) puna yam

  • cooking salt

  • 2–3 medium-ripe plantains, peeled and cut into large chunks

  • 1 quantity Peanut Sauce, prepared up to the stage of adding the peanut butter and blending

To garnish:

  • chopped red chillies

  • sliced spring onions or puréed basil

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh


Have a bowl or pan of water ready before you start, as you’ll need to put each peeled yam piece straight into water as you go to prevent them oxidizing and turning brown. Peel the yam and cut into slices, then rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch.

Chop the yam, add to a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel the plantains and cut into chunks slightly larger than bite size. Add to the boiling yam at the 10-minute point and cook together for about a further 10 minutes until fork tender – they will continue to cook in the peanut sauce.

Strain, reserving the cooking water to use as vegetable stock for making the peanut sauce. Set the yam and plantain aside.

Follow the method to prepare the peanut sauce, using the reserved cooking water for the stock, up to and including the stage of adding the peanut butter and blending until smooth.

Add the boiled yam and plantain to the sauce and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring in a little water as necessary to prevent any sticking.

Serve in a bowl garnished with chopped red chilies and a touch of greenery such as sliced spring onions or pureed basil. 

Reprinted with permission from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh. Copyright 2017, Mitchell Beazley. Photographs by Nassima Rothacker.