Amala (food)

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

Amala and Gbegiri with Ewedu soup


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

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 (Ikoro) [10]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 in Togo, 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][23] 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.[24][25]

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.[26][27]


Group of women kneading amala

Amala is made from yam peels which have been dried and ground to flour, and then boiled in water to a dough.[28]

Diverse Soups for the Dish[edit]

Àmàlà can be eaten with various soups:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roots, Tubers, Plantains and Bananas in Human Nutrition. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 1990. p. 68. ISBN 9789251028629.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "YAM FLOUR PRODUCTION (ELUBO)". Foodpreneurs Hub. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  4. ^ Balogh, Esther (1989). "History and perspectives of stable foods in Africa". Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery. p. 51. ISBN 9780907325444.
  5. ^ Dumont, Roland (2006). Biodiversity and Domestication of Yams in West Africa: Traditional Practices Leading to Dioscorea Rotundata Poir. Editions Quae. p. 28. ISBN 9782876146327.
  6. ^ "How to Prepare Okro Soup (Obe ila)". Habeeb Olonje. 2018-09-05. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  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. ^ "YAM FLOUR PRODUCTION (ELUBO)". Foodpreneurs Hub. 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  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. ^ "Konkonte | Traditional Side Dish From Ghana | TasteAtlas". Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  24. ^ "Garri Recipe". Chef's Pencil. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  25. ^ "Garri…popular food now beyond the reach of masses". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 2020-11-15. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  26. ^ "Plantain Fufu (Amala Ogede) Recipe :: Nigerian Dishes :: Galleria Health and Lifestyle, Nigeria". Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  27. ^ Sue (2015-08-02). "How to Make Plantain Flour". Backcountry Paleo. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  28. ^ "What Is Yam Flour? (with pictures)". Delighted Cooking. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  29. ^ Evans, Diana (2020-02-17). "Nigerian Egusi Soup". Precious Core. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  30. ^ Lete, Nky Lily (2013-06-25). "Nigerian Egusi Soup - Obe Efo elegusi : How to cook Egusi Soup". Nigerian Food TV. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  31. ^ "5 Soups You Should Try With 'The King Of Swallows'". BizWatchNigeria.Ng. 2022-05-03. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  32. ^ "Okro Soup (African Okra Soup)". Low Carb Africa. 2019-07-20. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  33. ^ Rees, D.; Farell, G. & Orchard, J. (2012). Crop Post-Harvest: Science and Technology, Perishables. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. p. 408.
  34. ^ Lete, Nky Lily (2012-09-21). "Ogbono Soup Recipe:How to Cook Ogbono Soup (draw soup)". Nigerian Food TV. Retrieved 2022-05-10.
  35. ^ Dobby (2015-08-28). "Gbegiri soup recipe (Beans Soup) - How to make Gbegiri". Dobby's Signature. Retrieved 2022-07-27.
  36. ^ "Gbegiri - Abula (How to make Gbegiri)". My Active Kitchen. 2020-03-01. Retrieved 2022-05-10.

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