Authentic Nigerian Deep Fried Yam Balls

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Note to self: I’m so excited!! Guess what?! My sister in law Zainab came to visit for a week and she brought so many Nigerian spices and powders and tools! We’re going to have a cooking feast! My other sister in law, Maryam, went to Nigeria recently and brought back this really yummy spice called yaji.

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Yaji spice blend

Moudi an I had it on Eid and we ate it with these spicy bean cakes called kose…so delicious! And I know this is untraditional but we also ate it with puff puffs. I know! Puff puffs! (Puff Puffs are deep fried dessert balls) It was totally accidental, Moudi thought it was a kose and dipped it in the yaji and omg it tasted amazeballs. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. (you can only get it in Nigeria and it’s nearly impossible to find here) Anyways that’s besides the point, the point is that for the next week I’ll be learning authentic Hausa dishes!

So the main thing for this recipe is yams…white yams in particular. We had a hard time finding it here in Augusta. It wasn’t in Publix or Krogers, then we went to am African store and they had just ran out. Though I’m super pumped out about finding this place…they had a bunch of cool stuff. The guy recommended us checking out a Latin grocery store and we finally found them! Now make sure you get the white yams not the yellow ones.

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White yam

Try it! and you can totally substitute the yams for potatoes if you can’t find them (Though they might not hold up as well as the yams.


  • 4 cups of diced white yam
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp seasoned salt
  • ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers (if you want it less spicy take out the seeds)
  • ¾ cup of chopped onions
  • 1-2 cups of flour
  • 3-4 eggs
  • ¼ tsp of seasoned salt
  • 1 Onga seasoning packet
  • 1 halal chicken maggi bouillon cube


  1. Peel and dice a medium white yam and measure out about 4 cups.
  2. Rinse yam with water and place it into a large pot with water, cover and cook on medium heat until yams are tender and mashable. (~1 hour)
  3. In a large sauce pan add 1 lb of ground beef, 1 cup of water, 1 tsp garlic powder, and ½ tsp seasoned salt. Cover and cook on medium heat until cooked (~40-45 minutes)
  4. Once cooked, strain the ground beef and discard water.
  5. In a food processor place ½ cup chopped red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet peppers, and ¾ cup of chopped onions. Pulse until they’re all minced into tiny pieces.
  6. After an hour the yams should be mashable, strain out of the water and placeinto a big bowl and mash.
  7. In a pot add vegetable oil and heat to medium high heat.
  8. To the pounded yams add ground beef, minced onion/pepper mixture, 1 packet of Onga seasoning mix, and 1 chicken bouillon cube.
  9. Mix well, and roll into 1 inch balls.
  10. Roll yam balls into flour and then egg mixture and then deep fry until golden brown. (~2-3 minutes)
  11. Take out of oil and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
  12. Enjoy alone or with some yaji.

Serving size: About 30 balls

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