Amala (food)

Àmàlà is a local indigenous Yoruba food, native to the Yoruba ethnic group. It is made out of yam and/or cassava flour, or unripe plantain flour.[1] Yams are peeled, sliced, cleaned, dried and then blended into flour, also called èlùbọ́. Yams are white in colour but turn brown when dried. This gives àmàlà its colour.[2][3] Àmàlà is consumed by the Yoruba people in Nigeria. Amala is native to indigenous people of the Southwestern part of Nigeria.[4] It could be served with a variety of ọbẹ (soups), such as ẹ̀fọ́, ilá, ewédú, ogbono, and or gbẹ̀gìrì (black-eyed beans soup).[5][6][7][8]

Amala as served in a Nigerian restaurant in London


There are three types of àmàlà: àmàlà isu, àmàlà láfún and "amala ogede".[9][10]

Yam flour (àmàlà isu)Edit

This is the most common type of àmàlà which is derived from yam. The particular yam specie best for preparing àmàlà is Dioscorea cayenensis because of its high starch content. Yam, the common name for species in the genus Dioscorea, grows in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Oceania, and Latin America.[11][12] However, 95% of it is cultivated and harvested in West Africa. Yam is consumed in many different forms including boiled, roasted, baked, fried and conversion into flours. The perishability nature of yam due to its high moisture content suggests the need to process it into less perishable products such as yam flour through drying process. The flour can be reconstituted with hot water to form a paste or gel called Kokonte in Ghana and "Amala'' in Nigeria.[13][14] Àmàlà isu is made of dried yam. This gives it a black/brownish colour when added to boiling water.[15][16] Amala is rich in carbohydrates owning to the fact that yam is an important source of carbohydrate for many people of the Sub Saharan region especially in the yam zone of west Africa.[17][18][19]

Cassava flour (àmàlà láfún)Edit

The second type is àmàlà láfún, made from cassava flour.[20] Dried cassava flour is known as “lafun” in Nigeria and "konkonte" in Ghana.

.[21][22][citation needed] Cassava is a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae (spurge) family. Cassava and yam are the most important source of food carbohydrate in Nigeria. Nigeria is the world's largest producer of cassava. Cassava flour, when used as a dry powder makes àmàlà láfún. Fermented and flaky, it is called Garri, another common dish, most often eaten by the Ijebu people.[23][24]

Plantain flour (Amala ogede)Edit

Another type of Amala is elubo ogede (which is usually lighter in color). The low carbohydrate level in plantain flour makes it a good diet for people diagnosed of diabetics and others who need a low-carbohydrate food. Unripe plantain is peeled, dried, and grated into boiling water to become amala ogede, light brown in colour when cooked.[25][26]


Group of women kneading amala

In preparing Amala, locally you can get enough yam peels, dry them for 3 to 5 days depending on the quantity. Once it gets thickened, the next process is grind. Once its grinded it becomes yam flour (Amala).[27][28] All you need is to prepare the Àmàlà without delay.

The only ingredient needed when making àmàlà is boiling water and one of the desired types of flour. Once the water has come to a boil, the heat is reduced. The flour is added and stirred until all the water is absorbed. More hot water is added, then the dough is left to simmer for approximately five minutes.[29][30][31] Then the dough is kneaded until it has the desired texture. Kneading the dough into a smooth paste is the most difficult part of preparing àmàlà.[citation needed]

Diverse Soups for the DishEdit

Àmàlà can be eaten with various soups:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ferris, R. S. B.; Uwaegbute A. C.; Osho S. M.; Obatolu V. A. (1995). "Acceptability and chemical evaluation of fortified yam (Discorea spp.) products". Postharvest Technology and Commodity Marketing: Proceedings of a Postharvest Conference 2 Nov. To 1 Dec. 1995. Accra, Ghana: 172. ISBN 978-978-131-111-6.
  2. ^ Balogh, Esther (1989). "History and perspectives of stable foods in Africa". Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery. p. 51. ISBN 9780907325444.
  3. ^ Dumont, Roland (2006). Biodiversity and Domestication of Yams in West Africa: Traditional Practices Leading to Dioscorea Rotundata Poir. Editions Quae. p. 28. ISBN 9782876146327.
  4. ^ Roots, Tubers, Plantains and Bananas in Human Nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 1990. p. 68. ISBN 9789251028629.
  5. ^ "How to Prepare Okro Soup (Obe ila)". Habeeb Olonje. 2018-09-05. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  6. ^ "Best soups to eat D-Amala with". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  7. ^ "Best soups to eat D-Amala with". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  8. ^ "Amala and Ewedu Soup Recipe". Chef's Pencil. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  9. ^ "Amala Food Recipe | How to Cook Amala - African Food Network". 2017-04-09. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  10. ^ "10 Health Benefits Of Eating Amala You Probably Didn't Know About. - Opera News". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  11. ^ Ihekoronye, A. I.; Ngoddy, P. O. (1985). Integrated Food Science and Technology for the Tropics. London: Macmillan. pp. 293 & 391. ISBN 0333388836.
  12. ^ "Nutritional Value and Health Benefits Of Amala - Public Health". 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  13. ^ Jimoh, O.; Olatidoye, O. P. (2009). "Evaluation of physicochemical and theological characteristics of soybean fortified yam flour". Journal of Applied Biosciences. 13: 703–704 – via Researchgate.
  14. ^ "Kokonte | Traditional Stew From Ghana | TasteAtlas". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  15. ^ Ago, Phunkein #nigeria • 5 Years (2017-08-11). "Amala". Steemit. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  16. ^ "How Elubo is Made – Yam Flour (Amala-Isu) – Abebi Foods". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  17. ^ Akissoe, N. H.; Hounhouigan, J. D.; Brica, .W.; Vernier, P.; Nago, M. C.; Olorunda, O. A. (2003). "Physical, chemical and sensory evaluation of dried yam (Dioscorea rotundata) tubers, flour and amala- a flour-derived product". Journal of Tropical Science. 41: 151–156 – via Google Scholar.
  18. ^ "What is the English of Amala? – Firstlawcomic". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  19. ^ "How to make the perfect "Amala"". Vanguard News. 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  20. ^ Nwokolo, Collins (2021-03-01). "10 Amazing Health Benefits Of Amala". Health Guide NG. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  21. ^ "5 Popular Swallows Eaten By Ghanaians". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 2022-05-03.
  22. ^ "How To Prepare Kokonte » My Recipe Joint". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  23. ^ "Garri Recipe". Chef's Pencil. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  24. ^ "Garri…popular food now beyond the reach of masses". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  25. ^ "Plantain Fufu (Amala Ogede) Recipe :: Nigerian Dishes :: Galleria Health and Lifestyle, Nigeria". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  26. ^ Sue (2015-08-02). "How to Make Plantain Flour". Backcountry Paleo. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  27. ^ "How Elubo is Made – Yam Flour (Amala-Isu) – Abebi Foods". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  28. ^ "What Is Yam Flour? (with pictures)". Delighted Cooking. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  29. ^ Badiru, I. & Badiru, D. (2013). Isi Cookbook: Collection of Easy Nigerian Recipes. Bloomington: iUniverse. p. 23. ISBN 9781475976717.
  30. ^ "Amala- lump free and fluffy". K's Cuisine. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  31. ^ "What Is Yam Flour? (with pictures)". Delighted Cooking. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  32. ^ Evans, Diana (2020-02-17). "Nigerian Egusi Soup". Precious Core. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  33. ^ Lete, Nky Lily (2013-06-25). "Nigerian Egusi Soup - Obe Efo elegusi : How to cook Egusi Soup". Nigerian Food TV. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  34. ^ "5 Soups You Should Try With 'The King Of Swallows'". BizWatchNigeria.Ng. 2022-05-03. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  35. ^ "Okro Soup (African Okra Soup)". Low Carb Africa. 2019-07-20. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  36. ^ Rees, D.; Farell, G. & Orchard, J. (2012). Crop Post-Harvest: Science and Technology, Perishables. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. p. 408.
  37. ^ Lete, Nky Lily (2012-09-21). "Ogbono Soup Recipe:How to Cook Ogbono Soup (draw soup)". Nigerian Food TV. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  38. ^ "Gbegiri - Abula (How to make Gbegiri)". My Active Kitchen. 2020-03-01. Retrieved 2022-05-10.

External linksEdit