This is one of many dishes I have been working on and created for my supper club, Cham Cham. I spent last weekend doing a load of recipe development with my family attending as the official Nim’s Din. Tasting Committee, of course. And boy were my family spoilt for choice!! I made yam and sweet potato crisps, jacato babagnoush, pepper chicken crackling, check rice with krain krain (you may know this as molohiya or jute leaves) and yam and plantain cakes. It was a real Sunday feast and my family gave every dish the seal of approval to make it onto the Cham Cham menu.
I have never really been that keen on yams. In the form of fufu (when it is made with yams instead of cassava), I can just about deal with it but simply boiled …. You know how some of us have memories of their grandmas boiling their cabbage to death that you can smell it 5 doors down, before you even get to your front door? Well, that is EXACTLY what my grandma did with yams. Boiled them so soft and sometimes cremating having left them on the stove so long the water boiled away. Ha! This is what I always think about when I see yams.
Yams are to many Africans what potatoes are to the Irish, a staple food. Well rice is too but that is another blog post and discussion. They are a lot more dense and drier than a potato – not initially when you remove the skin as there is a starchy film covering the yam that you rinse off before cooking, and then pat dry – but like a potato needs some jazzing up.
The prep. part – makes 8
- 500g yam, chopped up to boil
- 2cm ginger, peeled
- 1 plantain, ripe and peeled
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 leaves from a bunch of spinach, washed
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- Rice flour to dust the cakes before frying
The cooking/assembling part
- Place the yam in a pan with water and bring to the boil. This should take about 20 minutes to cook.
- While the yam is cooking place all the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz until are all chopped up and mixed in together. If you don’t have a food processor then finely chop the ginger, roughly chop the spinach and in a bowl mash the plantain with a fork and then mix in all the ingredients together. The mixture will be quite wet but will bind together once the yams are added.
- When the yams are cooked, drain the water, mash and allow to cool.
- Once the yams are cool (which should take about 10 minutes), mix together with the other ingredients in a bowl.
- Now divide the mixture in to 8 and form the cakes, first lightly dusting your hands with a little of the rice flour.
- Once you have formed a good round disc, lightly dust each side in the rice flour to give it a little coating and place on greaseproof paper.
- Place a frying pan on a medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the coconut oil and 2 mins after place the cakes in the pan.
- Cook the cakes 4 – 5 minutes on each side so they crisp up and are golden brown.