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How to Make Amala (Brown Yam Dough Meal Swallow)

Amala is a popular meal which originates from the western part of Nigeria. It's made from yam or cassava flour locally known as "Elubo" by the Yoruba people of the Nigeria and is served as an accompaniment to Western Nigeria soups (Obe) or stews such as Ewedu, Gbegiri, Efo riro, Buka stew, Ila (okra soup), Ogbono Soup, Egusi Soup e.t.c .
Locally, there are 3 types of Amala, two of the 3 is made from yam flour while the last is made from plantain flour. The Amala made from yam flour (àmàlà isu) is brown in colour while that made from cassava (àmàlà láfún) is white in colour and the last one made from plantain flour (Amala ogede) is brown in colour. It's prepared by stirring the dry yam flour powder into hot boiling water to form a dough.

If Yam Is White, Why is Amala Brown? 

This is a question mostly asked by people and the simple answer is oxidation. If you're familiar with apples, unripe plantain, avocado getting brown after you slice it, that is oxygen in the air reacting with the sliced food and breaking them down through a process known as oxidation. With the analogy just given, this same process is what occurs with yam especially when making Amala Flour known as Elubo
Whenever yam harvesting season begins, the yams you're likely to get during such period would be fresh newly harvested yam. You see, yam is yam but all yams are not equal. Due to different factors such as the soil it was grown in, the specie and a host of others, some yams end up being more perishable than others. New yam might be fresh and soft but full of starch and water/moisture. This makes it kind of bland when compared to old yam of same variety which is usually sweeter and contains less moisture/water and more concentrated since most of the moisture must have reduced after long storage in the yam barn. Due to the high moisture and starch content of the susceptible variety, it's not unusual for oxidation to occur once it's sliced hence turning the yam brown. The atoms in the atmosphere also reacts with the yams differently. Please note that oxidation can occur naturally or induced by spreading the yam out in the open (This is what makes amala black)

Left: Amala prepared with dry yam flour (Elubo) . Right: Amala prepared with fresh yam puree
The signs can be seen once the first bruise, slice or cut is made. Now in order for these yams to be preserved longer, someone from the western part of Nigeria came up with an idea to remove the moisture and convert the dried yams to powdered form. This dried yam flour is known as Elubo. As with most perishables, once moisture is removed it can be stored longer without having any serious effect on the nutritional components within. The only change you might notice is the physical colour change which goes from white to brown and this is natural phenomenon caused by oxidation.

How To Amala (Brown Yam Dough Meal Swallow)

4.5/5 Based on 3Reviews

2 Cups Elubo (Yam Flour)
 1 Cup Water

View the steps Below

Calories per serving: 0 (N/A)
Fat per serving: 0 (N/A)

Step 1: Place the pot on the burner and pour in the water. Once the water starts to boil, reduce the heat from the burner to the lowest point. 

Step 2: Gently stir in the yam flour (Elubo) vigorously to avoid lumps. Keep stirring and add some more flour if necessary till you get a thick smooth dough. Add some more water and leave to cook further for about 3 minutes before turning off the burner. 

And your amala is ready. Serve with Ewedu, GbegiriEfo riroBuka stew, Ila (okra soup)Ogbono SoupEgusi Soup or a combination of soups


  1. Dobby Signature you are too much...Amala I go do am this night...I am a guy so don't crucify me oo

  2. Wow, superb blog layout! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for?
    you made blogging look easy. The total look of your site is wonderful, let alone
    the content!

  3. I so much love your blog and what you are doing. I would like to follow this path in the future cause I love cooking as well. Please may I know the person that designed your blog for you as I would need his services to design my own blog.

    1. Thanks Grace. I did the design a long time ago :)

  4. You make it look so easy.


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