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On our menu today is the culinary jewel of Ijebuland. Ikokore is a meal made with water yam. It is a rich food prepared with lots of orisirisi. Ikokore can either be enjoyed alone or with cold eba. Whether you’re Yoruba or not, this pottage delicacy should grace your dining table this Christmas. If you do not know how to make it, stay with me a while and I’ll show you how.

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Water yam

Palm oil



Smoked fish

Dry fish

Red bell peppers (tatashe)

Scotch bonnet peppers (ata rodo)

Ground crayfish


Stock cubes


How to Prepare Ikokore

Rinse the beef and kpomo and cook on medium heat till they’re tender. Blend the red bell and the scotch bonnet peppers. Pour the blended pepper into a clean pot and boil till it thickens.

Hold up the water yam and peel off the skin with downward strokes. Cut the peeled yam into chunks and grate them with the smallest side of the grater. When you’re done grating, set the thick paste aside for later use.

Clean the smoked fish and the dry fish. Break them into chunks and set them aside for later use. Then pound the fermented locust bean.

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Next, heat up the palm oil. Add the locust bean, sauté for a minute and then add the blended pepper. Fry till it thickens and the oil comes to the top. Add the beef, kpomo, beef stock, the chunks of fish, and the seasoning cubes. Cover the pot and allow the content to boil well.

Use a sieve spoon to sieve out all the fish and meat. This will prevent disintegration or even burning as the water yam paste is likely to push them to the bottom of the pot when it is added to the pot.

As the content of the pot continues to boil, season the water yam paste with a little salt. Turn down the heat and scoop big lumps of the yam paste into the stew. Some of the lumps will dissolve into the stew and form a creamy consistency while others will form semi solid balls. Allow it to cook for about ten minutes.

Add the ground crayfish and stir the pot with a wooden spoon. Taste the food and adjust the seasoning if need be. When you see that the lumps have thickened and the stock has a creamy consistency. Add the meat and fish into the pot and cook for another two minutes. Turn off the heat and serve hot.


Dooney’s Kitchen

Sisi Jemimah

Featured image source: African Parent

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This article was first published on 30th December 2019


Udevi, Obiamaka Angela holds a Master of Arts degree in History & International Studies. She's a freelance writer with a passion for food and healthy living. She can be contacted through her email address,

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