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How to Make Healthy Nigerian Sweet Potato Porridge

A delicious Nigerian dinner bowl

Nigerian Sweet Potato Porridge (Pottage).

This very yummy and delicious Nigerian style sweet potato porridge reminds me of my childhood. I grow up eating sweet potatoes. I remember how as kids my parents would encourage us to plant sweet potato at the backyard. OH, yes! Sweet potato is called jinwannú in the Igbo language (my language), and that literally translates as sweet yam. Technically though sweet potato isn’t really in the same botanical family as yams (I mean edible starchy yam tubers, the type we eat so frequently back home in Africa.) However, by merely looking at sweet potato you could think that it belongs to the yam family. Surprisingly, it does not belong to the (regular) potato family either. Sweet potato belongs to the bindweed family and in reality; sweet potato is a root vegetable.

I had many fun memories with sweet potatoes; I rarely remember my mother frying them. But on numerous occasion, my mom will either roast them, boil them, add them to beans porridge or just make sweet potato porridge (like this recipe.) Nigerian sweet potato porridge is naturally delicious by itself, it does not require so many ingredients or spices to make it taste good. Especially it doesn't require sugar; this is a savory dish. Click To Tweet

Sweet potato Porridge is a savory and delicious sweet potato dish that originated from Nigeria. You will need sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, dry fish, crayfish, salt, pepper, and spinach to make this dish. Nigerian sweet potato porridge, aka potato pottage, cooks in no time and can serve as is a fantastic lunch, dinner, or breakfast.

Ingredients for Nigerian Potato Porridge (Pottage).

Sweet Potato.

In other to make this spectacular dish you will need among other things sweet potatoes (no substitution). A cup of sweet potato with the skin has about 950mg of potassium, more than can ever be found in a banana even though bananas are regarded as potassium powerhouse. And just in case if you are wondering, potassium helps the body to take care of excess sodium and also lowers high blood pressure. Sweet potato has tons of antioxidants; high-quality fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese, vitamin B6, plus other minerals and compounds. Also, sweet potatoes are low in calories, one medium size has 103 calories. This vegetable is… Click To Tweet

Always wash vegetables before cutting

Spinach.

Apart from sweet potatoes, you would also need spinach for this dish. In the world over spinach is generally known as a powerhouse because it protects the brain, the eyes, the bone, and the heart. OH, and, which means spinach can quickly improve your overall health. In other words, you really need to incorporate spinach in your dishes. By all means, you cannot go wrong by adding them to this dish. Spinach belongs to the same family as beets, and quinoa; this category of foods are said to have the capacity to reduce inflammation as well protect your body against free radicals. Click To Tweet

Other Ingredients.

Besides sweet potatoes and spinach, you also need onions, garlic, olive oil, dry fish, bell peppers, tomato paste (or fresh tomatoes, ground crayfish, salt pepper, and seasoning cubes. This is a vegetarian dish, but you can easily make it vegan by excluding the fish.

How to Make the Best Sweet Potato Porridge.

Personally, I love cutting the sweet potatoes in squares; you can of course cut them however you want. But, I suggest cutting them at (almost) equal sizes to allow for even cooking. Sometimes, I cut them big, other times, small, just like the photo below. 

You can cut the sweet potatoes as you like, but I prefer to cut them in squares or at least equal sizes. This helps them to cook evenly.

Cooking the Tastiest Sweet Potato Porridge.

First, sauté onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Then add ground crayfish, dry fish, seasonings, spices, and water. Allow to simmer, and add the potatoes.

Process photo of how to cook this recipe. First, sauté onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Then add ground crayfish, dry fish, and water. Allow to simmer, and add the potatoes.

Can I Make Potato Porridge (Pottage) without spinach?

Adding spinach to this Nigerian potato porridge is optional but necessary. It gives it a great touch of green color, as well as very nutritious. Check out all the fantastic benefits of spinach enumerated above.

Adding spinach to this Nigerian potato porridge is optional but necessary.
Though I used fresh spinach for recipe, frozen works just fine. I have used frozen spinach plenty of times!

OH, snap! Sooooo good! This is bowl of sweet potato can make a great lunch or dinner. This dish go by so fast in my household. I love that my kids love it!

Sweet potato Porridge is a savory and delicious sweet potato dish that originated from Nigeria. You will need sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, dry fish, crayfish, salt, pepper, and spinach to make this dish. Nigerian sweet potato porridge, aka potato pottage, cooks in no time and can serve as is a fantastic lunch, dinner, or breakfast.

Now if you are ready, let’s get cooking.

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A delicious Nigerian dinner bowl

How to Make Simple And Healthy Sweet Potato Porridge


  • Author: Nkechi Ajaeroh
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This sweet potato porridge is simple, spectacular, flavorful and mouthwatering. Fully packed with nutritious ingredients. It is a family favorite for brunch, lunch, or dinner.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 big sweet potatoes (or up to 810 small ones or any quantity you desire)
  • 23 tablespoon of olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach (or 1 bag of 12oz frozen spinach; you may not use all of it; spinach is optional)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh vegetables (onions, garlic and bell peppers)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 10 oz. of dry fish
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (always add salt according to your taste or health need)
  • 2 Maggi cubes or 2 teaspoons of seasoning bullion powder.
  • ½ teaspoon of dry thyme
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • a dash of crush red pepper or ground red pepper
  • 12 cups of water (do not add to much water)

Instructions

  1. Wash, peel, and cut sweet potatoes; set aside. Chop the other vegetables as well. Wash and clean the dry fish if you are using it.
  2. Set a clean pot/pan on the stove, and turn the stove to medium and allow to warm up. Add oil and heat up, then add about ½ teaspoon salt and the chopped fresh vegetables except for the spinach.
  3. Sauté for about 2 minutes and add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes (or until it no longer tastes raw. Then add crayfish, and fish while reducing the heat (this process helps the fish to become more flavorful). Ensure that the heat is still low to avoid the tomatoes sticking to the pot and stir mildly. 
  4. Add all the other condiments: salt, thyme, curry, ground or crush red pepper, crayfish, one Maggi or Knorr cube, and stir to combine. Then add water and stir; taste for flavor and adjust.
  5. Gently add the cut sweet potatoes, give a good stir, and turn the heat to medium-high.
  6. Cover the pot, and cook for the next 15 – 20 minutes or until the potatoes soften. Check on the potatoes every 5 – 7 minutes, and give a small stir if need be.) 
  7. Finally, stir in the spinach when the potatoes are soft and simmer for another 1 – 2 minutes. Garnish with spring onions, and enjoy!

Notes

Make this meal vegetarian by not adding ground crayfish, and dry fish (I personally love adding these proteins.) You can also substitute with tofu.

The length of time you cook this dish will the depend on how big or small you cut the potatoes.

When it comes to making this sweet potato porridge, the bottom line is to own it and make it your way. You can substitute sweet potatoes for regular (white) potatoes; mix both if you so desire. Or you can add some ripe plantain, take a look at the video, and notice that I added some plantains; I made sure to cut them the same size as the potatoes.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Nigerian

Keywords: Potatoes, Potato Recipe, Sweet potatoes, Sweet potato porridge, Nigerian Potato Porridge, Nigerian Sweet Potato Porridge, Potato Pottage, Healthy porridge, Nigerian Food, Nigerian Cuisine, African Potato Porridge

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If you like this flavorful and colorful Nigerian porridge, then I am sure you will enjoy my other Nigerian delicacies. These ethnic recipes are just phenomenal!

Check out some of my healthier holiday recipes:

These healthy breakfasts will keep you drooling.

While you are still here, grab my FREE (5) spinach salad recipe bundle would be a great addition to your dinner table if you like salads or you are wanting to eat healthier. Get the recipes here.

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Sweet potato Porridge is a savory and delicious sweet potato dish that originated from Nigeria. You will need sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, dry fish, crayfish, salt, pepper, and spinach to make this dish. Nigerian sweet potato porridge, aka potato pottage, cooks in no time and can serve as is a fantastic lunch, dinner, or breakfast.

With love,

Nkechi Ajaeroh, MPH

Hi, I'm Nkechi "Kechi" Ajaeroh, a Public Health professional turned Inspirational author slash exceptional home cook. A 2x International Best Selling Author of Elevate Your Life with the Power of Positive Perception and Gratefully Growing. African, (specifically, Nigerian) Food Enthusiast, watermelon connoisseur, on my to finessing my fitness. This blog is all about loving food, living life, practicing gratitude, and inspiring you to use your wings. Join the journey.

20 Comments
  1. This is such a flavorful and different way to use sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes and am always on the lookout for new ways to use them!

  2. This looks like such a hearty and delicious dish. The perfect thing to get us out of our normal dinner routine. Can’t wait to try it.

  3. I have never made sweet potato porridge, but it looks and sounds delicious! I’ve been loving sweet potatoes so this recipe will be added to my list to try next! Porridge is the perfect comfort meal as it is getting colder.

  4. Delicious porridge. We have really been getting into sweet potato recipes over the last year and this was another wonderful example of why we have grown to love them.

  5. Yummy! This looks so delicious and tasty! I can’t wait to give this a try! My husband is going to love this!

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