Yamarita fries with ata din din

Yamarita, yamarita, yamarita. I remember the first time I saw this written on the menu board in Tasty Fried Chicken popularly called TFC, I wondered what it was but I ordered my regular fried rice and chicken, because I am not adventurous with food sold commercially. I stick to what I know I will like so i don’t get pissed about wasting money. Lol. On another visit to TFC, the customer in front of me ordered Yamarita fries and I decided to stand back and watch what would be served. I was quite impressed to see yam packaged better than the fried yam (dun dun) phenomenon that most of us grew up with. I don’t particularly like yam, you must have read on my Yam and plantain porridge post HERE. One of the maids I grew up with used to boil it with sugar, and it became tolerable, which explains why I cook yam porridge with plantain - the sweetness.

Yamarita is basically fried yam, but fried yam 2.0. Just as with fish, prawns or any kind of seafood, you roll the yam in flour, dip it in egg and fry. As simple as that, and very sophisticated too. I know I probably sound like a broken record on the issue of packaging and presentation which will be the messiah of Nigerian food to a global audience, but Yamarita fries embodies what I mean perfectly. If you plate this simple dish, all fancy fancy, it can be served at a posh restaurant anywhere in the world. Which is what ticks me off with restaurants in high brow areas of Nigeria. The chefs are not creative or imaginative enough with Nigerian food. I don’t blame them too, you give your clientele what they want. When I think of chefs like Heston Blumenthal who pushes the boundaries with food, I will still maintain that if you create, your clientele will still respond.

So, today I am making fried yam extra special. It is not even that much work. You can serve this at home, or for guests, either as a starter or our popular after the main meal “small chop”. I am pairing it with an intensely delicious tomato sauce, just as TFC serves it. One thing missing is the Charcoal lit chicken though. My mouth is watering just remembering that chicken.

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You will need

12 – 15 rectangular slices of yam – or more depending on how many people

1 egg

3 – 4 tbs of flour

1/2 tbs of cayenne pepper – dry pepper

1 tsp curry powder

Salt

Seasoning cubes – knorr chicken cubes preferred

2 Tomatoes

1 red chilli – you substitute with ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper)

Olive oil

1/2 red onion

1 clove of garlic

How To

1. Cut the tuber of yam into circles, peel off the skin and cut rectangular slices about an inch thick and rinse with tap water. Create as many slices as you want. I will calculate about 4 – 5 slices per person.

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2. Boil the slices with enough water and salt. You will need roughly 7 – 10 minutes, but you have to monitor this closely because you don’t want to over cook the yam which will cause it to break apart when you fry in oil. So, by the 7 minute mark, test with a fork. If it gives way easily, then take it out off the heat. If you can still feel a little resistance, let it boil for another 2 – 3 minutes. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: as soon as the yams are soft, drain out the water. If you leave the yams in hot water, it will continue cooking.

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3. While the yams are boiling, prepare the flour. i.e pour the flour unto a plate, sprinkle in the cayenne pepper, curry powder, salt, half a seasoning cube and combine thoroughly. Break an egg in a bowl and sprinkle in cayenne pepper, the other half of the seasoning cube and a little salt. Also heat up oil in a deep saucepan. You need the oil to get very hot. The volume of oil that you use will depend on the size of the pan. You are going to deep fry the yam slices, so you need enough oil.

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4. Take the boiled yam slices out from the pot, one by one and roll in flour

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dip the flour coated slices in the egg mixture one at a time

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drop in the hot oil. If the oil is hot enough, each side should turn crisp and golden in under a minute, flip over to let the other side fry, then sieve out of the oil with a frying spoon.

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Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: yamarita is as pleasing to the eye as it is tasty, you want it to be golden brown and not burnt. So, don’t let it sit in the oil for too long. This method can be used to fry fish or chicken. Hey, KFC’s famous chicken is fried like this. British fish and chips is also fried like this, though some recommend batter. I intend to try this out at home soon, and I will put it up, once I do.

5. Fry the rest of the slices.

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Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: depending on how many slices you have to fry, you may have to turn down the heat a little bit, because the oil can get too hot and the yam will burn in a matter of seconds. You don’t want that

…………………….and that’s it. Delicious, crunchy Yamarita fries. Doesn’t it look gorgeous

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Now, to the Ata dindin - yamarita is not complete without this

How To

1. Chop the onion, tomatoes, chilli and garlic and set aside

2. Heat up 2 cooking spoons of olive oil, add the curry powder and thyme. let this fry for a minute. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: frying spices in oil, intensifies the flavour.

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3. Add the chopped ingredients from Step 1

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sweat out the contents of the pan and keep frying

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4. Keep frying until the tomatoes break down. At no point should you add water . Add 1 – 2 bay leaves, 1 cube of seasoning cube, a sprinkling of salt and stir

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keep frying until the sauce reduces and the colour turns dark and the sauce is thick with golden coloured oil showing at the sides of the pan. Taste for salt and seasoning.

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…………………………………………………………………..and you are done. Your delicious ata dindin

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…………………………………..and there you have it. Yamarita and ata dindin

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crispy, golden and delicious

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If you want to serve yamarita with other dipping sauces, your options are plain mayonnaise, but I will recommend Aioli which is garlic mayonnaise. My recipe for homemade mayonnaise can be found HERE

Teaser pic for the next post. Yamarita vs Calamari.

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83 thoughts on “Yamarita fries with ata din din

  1. Am glad, this came at the right time (Friday evening), i will definitely make this for my family as Saturday morning breakfast tomorrow. Thanx Dunni.

  2. Oooh this is called Yamarita? Funny enough we’v always fried this in Nigeria. I remember my brother like frying it alot that i hate him for wasting oil. Cos after frying, the oil can’t be reused.

  3. OMG! Dooney wont stop loving you darl :) I Ђåvε bn imagining how to prep dis yamarita each time. I see iȶ in a fast food tho i hvnt tasted iȶ but here i am with the recipe et al. Thanks sweets more grease. Pls what is BAY LEAVE ? And can you show us how to prep spanish sauce bn cracking M̶̲̥̅γ̲̣̣̥ brains ♓☺w to make †н‎​ά† dish after i tasted iȶ in a fast food. Thank you’ve bn helpful.

    • Aaaaaw, thanks. In fact, as you haven’t tasted it before, you are in the best position to love this. Bay leaves are aromatic leaves, that add a special flavour to any soup or stew. Please click on this link – http://dooneyskitchen.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/sam_5103.jpg

      The green leaf in the picture is a bay leaf. It is sold in most stores and supermarkets, including local markets. Anyone who sells spices such as curry powder, thyme and white pepper should also sell bay leaves.

      Spanish sauce – which kind? There are so many. If you are talking about Sofrito, which is basically a tomato sauce fried with garlic, onions, tomatoes and green pepper then the ata din din i put up is the recipe for it. Just add green pepper, and you have your spanish sauce right there. I hope that helps

  4. Yah,finally! I always wanted to make this but Neva knew how.some one ran me thru it once,but I Neva got around to making it.nao m def goin to try it out….d pics make it so much easier.tks a lot n keep up the good work.

  5. I couldn’t wait again.i just had to make it today…Lolll. And was I proud of myself or what? #head expansion tins. my aunt evn called me a professional chef…o ga! Tks to u Dunnie.*hugs* Ve a great wik everyone….chao!

    • Hi Juliet, yes you boil the yam with a little salt. Remember, you are going to add a half a seasoning cube to the flour, and the other half to the eggs, so be mindful of the salt you boil the yam with. I have researched on spanish sauce and it is the same as the ata din din that I put up except the addition of green pepper. So, I would adivse that you fry the sauce as per my recipe says and add green pepper. I hope that helps.

      • Ɣε̲̣̣̣̥§ thanks love. I will add carrot too and green green beans :). And i rem that leaf you mentioned frm your reference to pple †н‎​ά† sells food condiments. Ɣ☺Ʊ A̶̲̥̅яe †ђε BOMB!

  6. Choi! Dunni, I didn’t know you had written a more detailed recipe for this yamarita here. Yesterday, I made yamarita but used the recipe from your Yam and plantain porridge recipe. I even blogged about it. But you know the funny thing, it came out very well. I didn’t boil the yam but I think the yam cooked because I fried on low heat for about 10 minutes and the egg didn’t burn either because it was deep-frying. But I like this idea of re-coating with egg a second time. It’ll make the body more crispy.
    It came out well though. Thanks to you.

  7. Thanks a lot! I’ve done this version and updated too. Hehe! I like new stuff that much ni. This version is definitely crispier. I noticed the egg recoated will make it more likely to burn unlike if the flour were the top coated layer. But good thing the yam is boiled already.

  8. Hi Dunnni! So I made the Yamarita 2 days ago and it was a hit! I had some sweet potatoes l wanted to get rid of so I made some “Potatorita” as well. Funny thing is, everyone preferred the Sweet potatoes. Even my picky eater son.
    Will be making the party Jollof rice today. Fingers crossed!

      • Done and dusted! It tasted just like party Jollof rice, everyone loved it. However, I had a lil problem after mixing the rice with the stew and boiling it–the rice just wouldn’t get done! I don’t know whether it’s cos i kept opening the pot or that i didn’t add enough water or that I didn’t parboil it enough, i just can’t tell. The bottom of the pot was burnt to near ashes yet, the rice on top was still a bit hard. Eventually the rice at the bottom was cooked a bit more than the top. Abeg I mixed it and served it like that jor but everyone still loved it! Before I could even get to eat, it was all gone.
        The blessing in cooking it for such a long time was that the smoked flavour from the burnt base permeated through the rice very well. My poor pot tho. And that’s my best pot:(
        Thanks Dunni!

        • It is probably one of two reasons. It didn’t pre-boil enough or the stew was too thick, so there wasn’t enough liquid to cook the rice. The joy of all the stress is that they loved it. That is the business, so big thumbs up to you.

  9. Okay, I’m thinking of trying this recipe but as I can’t eat yam that hasn’t been cooked with sugar *covering my face in shame* and a little salt, how does this sit with all the seasoning business of the flour and egg without making the yam too salty? Or if I leave the sugar bit out, will the yam still be tasty? Thinking really hard…
    On the other note, have you got roasted fish recipe to go with this Yamarita? Either tilapia or salmon….
    And very Weldone dear, I say it all the time, you’ll surely go places with your cooking skills because I mean it!!!

    • You know what, boil the yam with sugar and then get your salt from the eggs. If you salt the yam too, I can’t guarnatee that you won’t end up with a salty yamarita fries too. It is important to salt the egg to give the dough some flavour. You can work with whichever combo that suits you till you find what you like

  10. Hi Sis, cos really you are now my sis.#smile. So after I conquered Iya Kubura’s ofada sauce, I set out to conquer TFC’s yamarita, because my hubby likes it and orders it. And yet again thanks to you, I have won the battle. Surprised hubby yesterday with Yamarita and ata din din… his words “o de nice o”. Him finishing the ata din din sauce spoke more than words to me.
    DONE!!!

    Thanks to you sweet heart. Happy Birthday once more. Honestly, I wish i had your address wherever in the world, your birthday gifts would have been at your doorsteps by now. lol.

    Have a fun filled birthday. I owe you a gift all the same.

  11. Oladunni! I made yamarita last Saturday! Unfortunately I didn’t have Internet on my phone so I was unable to follow each step and used thyme instead of curry LOL! I also didn’t make the pepper because I was going out but the fries were soo delicious and finished in minutes! Thank you sooooo very much!

  12. Hi Dooney,
    This morning didn’t want to eat the usual so I tried this,yam is kinda expensive where I live so I used potatoes and baked them instead of frying( we are trying to eat healthy) I served it with fish fingers and ketchup. Hubby loved it. Thanks

  13. Thanks for this!!! Made this for dinner just now and hubby and kids loved it! Would put up pics, but can’t seem to be able to. Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  14. Hi Dunni, your most hits today would be from me lol.. i have been on your site since morning and its afternoon! just reading as if i am preparing for exams!lol well done!
    I have a quick question, if the yam is coated in flour first and then egg,is there any consequence?
    or is it cos the egg will wash away the flour?

    • you coat in egg first, then you coat in flour, so that it sticks well enough to the yam. Even with chicken or prawns, anything battered, you start with the egg first and then the flour. Think KFC chicken, think battered prawns. Same process

      • Now I’m confused. Your recipe says dip the flour coated yam into the egg mixture but your rply to me says egg first and then flour :a

        • Sorry, I was doing something else when I was answering you, my mind was distracted. My recipe is correct. If you dip the yam in egg first and then dip in flour, you will have too much flour coating the yam. In there recipe i said, take it out of the water it was boiled in, rub in flour, shake of any excess flour and then dip in egg. If you flip the process, it will be difficult to shake of any excess flour because the egg will keep it in place. I hope that helps. Sorry for the confusion

  15. Hey dooney, just gave my hubby and friend this, it’s delicious! A lil twist to mine, added
    King prawn to my ata dindin. Too hungry to take picture thou! Thanks!

  16. Hi Dunni, great work you are doing here! I have tried your yamarita recipe twice, the first time i followed it to the letter and the result was scrumptious! the second time i decided to cut corners by mixing the egg with the flour and dipping the yam into it before frying (in my typical manner of thinking, i wondered why i couldn’t just mix the flour and egg and save some time and hassle instead of repeating a very similar process). The product was edible but lacking the slight crunchy finish the first had. Guess i learnt my lesson— keep up the good work and God bless you

    • You are very welcome. If it is not broken, don’t fix it. At least you have somehting to fall back on, knowing you can create scrumptious Yamarita. Well done

  17. Dooooooooooooooooney, I made yamarita this morning for hubby and he loved it. The man licked the sauce after he finished the yam. Thanks so much for the recipe, funny enough I have heard about yamarita but never ate it till today.

  18. Thanks so much Dooney for the good work you are doing! Just tried this with my Irish potato, it came out well even though I know yam would have been better ( yam is like gold here o, lol). Am your big fan o, I visit your blog like daily! Thanks once more, loads of hugs!!!

  19. Wow, so I made the yamarita wiyh the sauce. My hubby so loved it. I believe adding the seasoning to the hot oil before adding the onions, tomatoes, etc intensifies the flavour for real.

  20. Dunni i find that deeping the yam in egg first and the flour is crunchier(if that’s a word…lol)and i prefer it that way, the first time i made it egg first and then flour second was a mistake but then the second time i made it right i knew something was off and i was wondering so realize i prefer deeping egg first and the flour. it was really nice.

    • It will be more crunchy that way because by dipping in egg first, you will get more flour to stick on the yam. I reverse the process, to get less flour but both work all the same. Glad you found the one you prefer. Well done

  21. dooneyyyy thanks for d recipe, will surely try it tomorrow. I must say you are doing a great job . God bless you..a big hug sis…

  22. Hello dear Dooney, e we so o, just a quick question please…thinking of making this for breakfast on Valentine’s day, i have noticed that you use red onions for your recipes, why’s that please? any difference between the white and red onions? thanks.

    • Eweso o. I prefer red onions because of their sweetness. I don’t like the sharpness of white at all. Personal preference. I love red onions so much, many times I eat them alone with boiled meat when I am cooking. Lol. Great idea to serve Yamarita for breakfast on Valentines

  23. Hi Dooney,
    Thanks for the great recipes…so I have 2 questions not sure if someone already asked couldn’t go through the whole thread….1. If I want to bake the yamarita do I just coat it in oil before putting it in the oven or is there something else to make it come out that crispy…2. I made one of your moinmoin recipe yesterday tasted delicious however it was not solid enough let’s just say a bit watery. I was wondering what I did wrong…I am suspecting I added too much water into my paste…..thanks you are a my food savior…XOxo Lola

    • Wow, I have never tried baking it before. I will suggest, you sprinkle it with a little olive oil and breadcrumbs to make it the batter crisp up. If moin moin comes out bot solid, the only culprit is watery. If the solution is too watery, it won’t solidify. I suggest, measuring your water carefully, when mixing. If it comes out watery again, just open it up to air, it will harden a little more in a few minutes. I hope that helps

  24. doooonnneeeeyyy ooo. do I have to do the coating and frying one by one. ……..cant I just pour the flour on the yam mix and pour the egg mix and pour in hot oil………#diaryofalazyyamaritafan

    • Hmmmmn, that is an idea o, I just don’t know how it will work. You can try it with like 4 pieces of yam first, and see. If it works, please, please send me pictures. I am interested in the result

  25. Ahh, you have done well my sista. You just took me right back to TFC lagos, I’m back now sha :) Just finished a small plate of delicious yamarita and ata din din in which I incorporated crayfish. Yummy! Great job Dunni.

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