The variety of Nigerian recipes on offer are numerous, there is at least one speciality cuisine for each of the over 300 ethnic groups that make up this great country. Each new recipe is a discovery on its own, as it makes one appreciate the abundance of our food resources and rich diversity.

This week our focus is on the city of  Calabar and we are sampling an Efik dish called Oto; this dish is made from water-yam, which is part of the root tuber family.


Water-yam on its own does nothing for the taste buds, but by the time you add in some fish, palm oil and pepper, your taste buds will thank you for it.

So for an ‘adventureful’ time in your kitchen, whip up your cooking tools and get started already!


Do you need an amazing holiday? Speak with Afro Tourism on +234-903-000-1895 or [email protected], let’s get that sorted.


Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients: 1/4 medium size water yam

Pieces of beef, cut in small chunks

1 cup pieces smoked fish

1/2 cup smoked Prawns (dressed)

11/2 cooking spoons palm oil

1 tablespoon chopped effirin or scent leaves

Dried pepper to taste

Seasoning to taste

Salt to taste

Cooking Method: Peel, wash, cut in big chunks and grate the water yam ( you can use a food processor). Add a little salt.


Season and steam the meat with onion, pepper, salt, seasoning, then cook.

When meat is cooked add the smoked fish, prawns and seasoning,  some more water and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add the palm oil and cook for 5 minutes.

Using your hand drop the water yam  paste in small balls into the pot. Make sure to leave some space between the balls to give enough room for the stock to boil up and cook the water yam.


Reduce the flame to a low burn to allow the water yam  balls cook through. Do not stir immediately . If need be, rock or shake the pot to free the water yam to cook.

When cooked the balls are translucent  And the sauce thickens.

When the balls are set on the outside you may use a wooden spoon to stir the pottage, avoid squashing the balls.

Taste for salt , add the effirin leaves, cook for 2 minutes and your pottage is ready.



Let’s talk about your next holiday on +234-903-000-1895 or [email protected] You can also search for a rock-bottom price travel deals here.


Feel free to email us at [email protected] on what you think or share your creative cooking food ideas.

Recipe by  1Q Food Platter, for other Efik inspired dishes try Dooney’s Kitchen and Afrolems.


Miriam Chiazor

Miriam Chiazor

Content Editor
Miriam is the cornerstone of content planning, fiercely dedicated to resolving the critical issues of the day. She loves a good challenge, thrives on deadlines, pressure and learning new things.
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor

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