Water yam is one of the oldest food crops and it originated in South East Asia. The plant eventually spread to other regions, including Africa and America. Farmers plant water yam in March or April at the start of the rainy season. It matures in 9 months and can be kept in storage for a few months later, because it can stay dormant for a few months.
Water yam may grow best between 25 and 30 degrees Celcius. Loamy soil is best, especially if it is properly drained and rich in organic matter. Water yam roots should thrive in the top soil layer.
Tubers of water yam may vary in size and shape, depending on the hardness of the soil and the available nutrients. They can be available branched, straight, in groups or singly. Compared to yellow or white yam, water yam has higher proportion of water content. The watery texture should be noticeable if we grate or cut the tuber. The colors of the tuber itself should light brown, yellow, white or light purple.
There are many ways to prepare water yam, it can be steamed, fried, mashed or boiled. Many dishes can be made from water yam flour, such as pastries and biscuits. Water yam is consisted 70 percent of water and up to 1.5 percent of fiber.
There are many ways to use water yam as part of our diet. As an example, we can use s an important ingrtedient of cake. First we can cream sugar and margarine until both are soft. Then we continue beating it and add some eggs. We can sieve baking powder, wheat flour and water yam together; then mix them all together. It is probably necessary to add cold milk or flour to reach a dropping consistency.
We may also add some vanilla essence to improve taste. We can bake it in a moderately-heated over for about 20 minutes.
Water yam is used for many African foods, such as Ojojo. To prepare it, we can chop pepper and onion finely. In a separate bowl, we can beat grated water yam and add some water if it becomes a bit too thick. Put the pepper and onion mixture to the grated yam, add salt and beat it again. We can deep fry the water yam balls and serve it hot with bread or other carbohydrate-rich foods.
Ikokore is a Nigerian food and people prepare it by peeling and grating the water yam. In a separate cooking pot, we can boil a mixture of fish and ingredients. Then add put the grated water yam to pot when the fish has cooked. We should stir gently with the wooden spoon, add some salt and oil if necessary. It can be served hot.
Water yam can be served as chips.
People usually wash and peel the yam, the cut it in half and slice thinly. The sliced yam is soaked in cold water, then drained and wrapped in clean cloth for half an hour. We may need to separate the slices individually before deep frying them. Fry until crispy; add some salt and very little powdered sugar if necessary.