For the oto


750–900g (1lb 10oz–2lb) puna yam

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp fresh thyme

a little butter

cooking salt

4–6 medium/soft boiled eggs, shelled and quartered

1 red onion, sliced and fried until crispy

sea salt to taste


1. Have a bowl or pan of water ready, as you’ll need to put each peeled yam piece straight into water to prevent them oxidising and turning brown. Peel the yam and cut into 2.5–5cm (1–2-inch) cubes, then rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch.

2. Add the yam cubes to a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 12–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the yam, until fork tender. (You can hard-boil your eggs in the pan at the same time to save on the washing-up!) Drain and mash the yam (set the hard-boiled eggs aside for garnish).

3. Mash the yams and add in the turmeric, thyme and butter. Mould in to small cake shapes and shallow fry til golden and crispy.

4. Serve in individual bowls with the hard-boiled egg and the fried sliced red onion on top, with a green garnish such as chopped spring onion or coriander, or to really bring out the richness of the colour, serve alongside a portion of baked or crispy fried kelewele and avocado mayo.


Serves 4-6


1 heaped tablespoon kelewele dry spice mix (2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, ½ tablespoon ground cloves)

1 small red onion, grated

5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)

pinch of crushed sea salt

500ml–1 litre (18fl oz–1¾ pints) coconut oil for deep-frying, plus 2 tablespoons for marinating (or substitute vegetable oil)

4–6 ripe plantains


1. Mix the dry spice mix with the onion, ginger, sea salt and the 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl.

2. Using a sharp knife, peel the plantains by cutting the tips of each end and slicing through the skin lengthways (avoid cutting into the flesh), then use your hands to remove the skin.

3. Cut the plantains in half lengthways into 2 long pieces. Usually the plantain is then diced into 2cm (¾-inch) squares or bite-sized chunks, but I like to make chunky plantain chips with this spice mix, so I cut the plantain in half across the middle, making 4 pieces, and then each piece in half lengthways again to end up with 8 evenly sized chunky chips from each plantain. This way, the plantain chips will cook evenly and quickly without burning.

4. Coat the plantain chips in the spice mix and leave to stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. You can also cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge for longer to soak up the marinade until you’re ready to cook.

5. Heat the oil for deep-frying in a deep-fat fryer (the safest option) or heavy-based, deep saucepan filled to just under half the depth of the pan to 180–190°C (350–375°F) or until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Fry the plantain chips, in batches, until they float to the surface and are evenly golden in colour – you should have a crispy spiced outside and sweet soft inside.

6. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper, keeping the cooked chips hot while you fry the rest. Alternatively, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F),

7. Gas Mark 4. Spread the coated plantain chips out on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes until golden on the outside and tender inside. Serve hot.

8. With or without the garnish of crushed roasted peanuts, this makes a great appetizer, snack or side for both meat and veggie dishes!

Avocado Mayo


1 avocado

1 lime

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp honey

Good pinch of salt

Small pinch cayenne

Small pinch black pepper

2 tbsp olive oil


1. Blend everything apart from olive oil and 1/4 of the lime until smooth.

2. Drizzle in the olive oil with blender still going until emulsified. Taste and season with remaining lime and extra salt and pepper if needed.

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