INGREDIENTS

Buyer's guide

If you are buying yams from a specialist African or Caribbean shop, ask them how to prepare the yams you are buying. They will have advice on whether the yam must be peeled before cooking and how to serve it.

Preparation

Small yams can be cooked in their skins, but larger ones should be peeled, washed and blanched for 10-20 minutes in boiling salted water before being used.

Yams can be used in the same way as potatoes. Serve mashed yams with plenty of butter and seasoning as an accompaniment to meat stews or other vegetable dishes. Make yam chips or bake yams in their skins. In Africa, yam is pounded into a very stiff paste called fufu, eaten by hand in pinches from the serving tray, rolled into balls and dipped into a stew.