Black magic and Yam are amongst the many things Ghana is famous for. “Juju”as it is called locally, is still practiced till date, and I have heard such strange stories, sometimes, I doubt if there are even real. But I know people who swear by them, and say they have witnessed such things. One really funny yet true incident was that a woman witch doctor, would shake hands with men in the market place, and suddenly the man she shook hands with would look down to find his penis would be gone ! Yup totally disappeared !!! Hahaha … I know you don’t believe it, but its true, it does disappear, and only she can bring it back, for ofcourse a reasonable amount of money !

It is also believed that couple of years ago in the Ashanti and Volta region humans were turned into yams. There was this magician who during a yam festival, was turning things like paper into money, stone to houses, so a man asked him whether he could turn  a monkey or a human into a yam? The juju man did it, turned a monkey into a yam. Later he turned a man into a yam. Now the chief of this village came to hear of this magician, but doubted what the man did, so he asked his son to go and see whether it was true, and the magician turned him into a yam too. The chief now needed to see this with his own eyes, and so called the magician  and asked him if he could turn him the chief into a yam, and the magician said, “Yes your highness,” and turned him into a yam too. Unfortunately for all of them, the magician (could not or probably chose not to as he was doubted) could not bring them back to life. So the royal highness – the Chief , his son and the other common man, were they remained in the palace for 3 days, hoping they would change back but they did not. And so it became an example for the rest of the community that they should not challenge a magician !

So the next time you are buying your yam from your African store/market , you never know who it might me, maybe a chief  king or a cheating wife, or maybe a yam thief who was turned into a yam himself !! Think twice 🙂

Yams are, other than being remains of a king :p … a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6. It is a large tuber with rough external skin with a tree like bark and a hard pale white interior. They are creamy or sometimes firm when cooked. Yams have an earthy, hardy taste and usually a minimal amount of sweetness. Taste good boiled, pounded, fried or grilled. The simple taste allows this tuber to be accompanied with just about anything, specially spicy stews. Its also a perfect potato substitute. If you see my earlier post on Pepe and Yam, you can find another way to cook this beautiful yet simple vegetable. And the recipe for pepe, which is the perfect accompaniment for this  balls.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Yam
  • Water to boil
  • Salt to taste
  • 100 gms butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Oil to fry

Peel and cut the yam into cubes. Cover in pot with water and season with salt. Boil till soft and then drain out the water. Now mask or pound the yam together with the milk,butter and garlic powder, adding salt if necessary. Roll into balls and dip into the cornflour mixture. Now spread the breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the balls on it, coating it evenly. Deep fry till golden brown. Serve hot with some pepe.

And there’s one more thing I’d like to share with all you wonderful readers . I’ve been interviewed by Bizymom’s for the Ethnic Cuisines.  Click on the button on the right or the link above to read all about it .

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Comment :

The things you learn! Who knew that a yam could have such royal ancestry! These look delicious and I would probably substitute potatoes for the yam (I don’t think I can find them here in Sydney!). Actually, these would be great served as a cocktail/drink snack.

Gorgeous pics!

A fantastic Ghanaian dish! They look so tempting…

I love that second picture!

Cheers,

Rosa

Fried savory yam balls with a spicy sauce? Yes please!! (Although I might also love a sweet sauce.)
I don’t believe the handshake thing. Sorry!

Ann

HA HA – funny ‘Juju” stories. I think any of us from Africa have had our fill of black magic stories, but you West Africans take the cake!
BTW – is Yam flour what they call Fufu?
These look awesome, I wish I could get my hands on fresh yams to try ’em out. And kudos on your write-up and to your pretty model too…Are her hands the ones that feature in your rye pita bread post too?

Kajal

Peter … lol you know !! You could even try sweet potatoes .

Parita 🙂

Rosa thanks

Manggy … I did not believe it either but my father in law saw it happen in front of him. I don’t think I can argue with that :)) But I’d love to see it happen before my eyes … ofcourse my sympathies with the man who looses his “thing” …. lol

Ann … yeah as W Africa does have the strongest Juju !! 🙂
The model for the rye bread was different, and yup pounded yam or yam flour os fufu, goes best with groundnut soup, which I shall feature someday 🙂

Yam is a very common ingedient in the Caribbean as well. These balls look great. I especially love yam in soups

interesting read in a weird way..I love the pics..they make the dish seem very authentic.

Kate,
In Indonesia, we like to deep fry yam balls too. Mostly on the sweet side. With palm sugar filling. Once deep fried, the palm sugar would ooze out when you bite it.

Those are some stories you got there!! Yikes, I’ll be careful with my ymas next time..

Sal

hahaha….De is looking soo pretty in the pic !! n the YAM Balls look lovely !!
I am soooo missing Ghana , ur yummy ghana food and ofcourse my darlinggg baby Rianoo n his million dollar smile !!

Have seen a lot of ways in which yam is cooked when we were in Nigeria, mostly steamed. Deep-fried yam sounds much better.
And the juju stories, I’ve heard some weird ones too. 🙂

I ? yams. The last time I made balls of them, I was in secondary school………I actually blogged about them recently…as in yams. Hmmmm. Must try this!

sangeeta

Hahaha I so needed a laugh but seriously after narrating this story(real or otherwise)you expect us to eat yams? Gulp, Rolf……
Good one now I really have to decide if I should make these.I don’t want to eat someone.

Delicious pictures! Have a great week-end.

JOEY

YOU MAKE ME SMILE! NOW, I HAVE TO AVOID WOMEN WHO WANTED TO SHAKE HANDS SPECIALLY IN THE MARKET HA! HA! EVERSINCE, I HAVE EATEN LOTS OF YAMS IN GHANA (NOT KNOWING THAT IT MIGHT BE A CHIEF OR COMMON PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LOST, HE HE). BUT SINCE YOU HAVE GIVEN A VERY GOOD RECIPE & IDEA, I WILL CONTINUE TO EAT YAMS ENSURING THAT IT HAS BEEN FRIED DEEPEN…..

What a story! Voodoo yams 🙂
I’d love to try these since I’ve never eaten yams before. I just hope i can find some.
Magda

Very entertaining post! These balls look absolutely delicious.

She is beautiful!

I love the background information on the yams. They are so delicious, I am will have to try your recipe!

Oh my! You just brought back so many memories of my childhood spent growing up in Nigeria where we had yam with the typical groundnut or okra stew every Sunday. All this talk of Juju has made me hungry =)

Wow, nice way to cook yam, sounds and looks delicious. Would love to serve as appetizers 🙂

Lovely!

Haha… what a fun story about yams! And certainly something I will keep in mind for when I will find yams (have never seen them around here but who knows…? I might run into one soon!

Hahaha I LOVE this post! So entertaining! Though that handshake thing, even if true, is one of those that no one is going to believe until they see it happen. Or it happen to them 🙂 🙂

what an interesting story, and these yam balls look delicious!

wow! Never knew how to prepare yam! This looks delicious!

Thanks

My girlfriend is in love with ube, a type of purple yam used a lot in the Philippines. She bought purple yam ice cream the other day and it’s surprisingly good. Out of all the starches, yams are my favorite by far.

Well i like how simple and frank your website is. I get a lot of questions on food recipes especially on ghana foods so i was hoping maybe you could pass by one day and help us out since you obviously know what you are talking about

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