Njamma jamma with spiced yams

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Njamma jamma (prounced N-Jamma Jamma) is named after a popular plant crop in Cameroon, Solanum scabrum/huckleberry plant. Traditionally this dish is made from the leaf of this crop, however because this is hard to find outside Cameroon, this recipe has used spring greens (you can also use Kale, spinach of swiss chard). This dish was created to use the whole plant and it’s a common staple in Cameroon. Njamma jamma is traditionally vegan, sometimes served with crayfish or chicken but it is not very common to do so. Instead here it's paired with spiced Yams, but it can also be eaten with rice or fufu (dough-like food found in West African cuisine). 

Vegan | gluten-free, Serves 4 

Preparation time: 30 minutes 

Cooking time: 40 minutes 

Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes  

Njamma jamma ingredientsNjamma jamma served on a plate

Stage 1 

  • 1 large bunch of spring greens – de-storked and shredded
  • 2 litres of water 

Stage 2 

  • 1 red onion – finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp oil 
  • Pinch of salt 

Stage 3 

  • 3 garlic cloves – finely chopped 
  • 1 red chilli – finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp all purpose seasoning 
  • 1 tbsp paprika 
  • 200ml veg stock 

Stage 4 

  • Yellow peppers – finely cubed 
  • 2 vine tomatoes – roughly chopped 

Spiced Yams ingredients

Stage 1 

• 1 small sized yam 

Stage 2 

  • 70g potato starch / plain flour 
  • 1 tsp ginger powder 
  • 1 tsp all purpose 
  • 1/2 tsp all spice 
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1–2 tsp salt 
  • 10ml of oil  

Njamma jamma Method: 

  1. Fill a pan with your water and bring to a boil once boiled reduce down to a simmer. 

  2. Blanched your spring greens in the hot water for – place it in the water and let it sit for 1 minute while stirring occasionally and then remove from the pot using a spider and allow to cool before mixing it in with the base sauce.  

  3. For the tomato base, add stage 2 to a medium large pan and cook until onions on a medium high heat till they have softened and gone translucent, should take roughly 10 minutes.

  4. Add all of stage 3 accept the veg stock to pan and cook for 2/3 minutes, while continuously stirring and then add the veg stock and cook for a further 8 minutes or until most the water has evaporated and mixture has thickened.  

  5. Add stage 4 to pan and cook for 10–15 minutes. The tomatoes should have cooked down and the peppers softened. This is a good time to start prepping your spiced yam.

Spiced Yam Method:

This can also be prepped a day before.

  1. Peeled and cut the yam into long 2cm by 2cm cubes.
  2. Fill a medium sized pot with water, heat the water till it starts to simmer. Do not let it boil. Place the prepped yam into the pot and let it cook for 12 minutes. 
  3. Drain the yam and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Place to one side and let it cool.  
  4. Mix all the dry ingrediants in stage 2 and prepped Yam, in a large mixing bowl until well combinded.  
  5. In a large frying pan, fry the yams until golden brown in colour and serve with dish.

Ngwafu Tansie standing outside holding food


Recipe written and created by Ngwafu Tansie. Founder of gwafuvegan. As a black queer chef it's fundamental for me to represent within the hospitality industry and showcase my culture. Inspiring younger people that you can be whatever you want to be if you put your mind to it. 

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