WHAT ARE AFRICAN YAM BALLS?
They are both an African recipe that offers a refreshing take on Yams and every Human Resource person’s nightmare when staff start comparing the quality and size of the Yam Balls they tried last night. Like many flexible Ghanaian/West African recipes, there is plenty of room for improvisation in making yam balls, especially with seasonings. Fresh puna yams from Ghana are especially nice (do not use the yams or sweet potatoes commonly found in U.S. markets).
This recipe is published courtesy of The Ghana Cookbook by Fran Osseo Asare and Barbara Baeta (Published by Hippocrene Books) .
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING AFRICAN YAM BALLS
- Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes
Remember in geometry when you learned that all rectangles are parallelograms but not all parallelograms are rectangles? Well this is nature’s version of the same thing. All yams are by definition sweet potatoes. But the latter is not always true. While these two vegetables are often used interchangeably, there are some noticeable differences. In keeping with the name, sweet potatoes are sweeter vs. yams which have more starch and so need more cooking overall.
- Salting Fried Foods
Remember to salt the African yam balls immediately when they are done frying in oil. If you wait to long, the oil cools forming a hard shell around the balls. Salt then bounces off this armor versus being absorbed into your food.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH AFRICAN YAM BALLS?
This recipe is fried and high in starch, so for other food accompaniments avoid anything greasy or high in starch as well. So stay away from bread or pasta and look instead to dishes high in either protein (like chicken breasts) or vegetables (say a salad). Regarding beverages, most white wines like a Gewurtzraminer or Chardonnay should work so long as they have some character. For reds look to a fruity Merlot. Or you can go with a sparkling option like Prosecco or Champagne.