I first thought “nyoma” and “mpotompoto” were two different dishes, and later began to suspect they were the same. Several Ghanaians confirmed this. Barbara once told me that when it is made with yams, the Ewes call it teba (“yam mud”) and that it is also known in Ewe as dablui, which means “cook it and mix it up.” She describes it as a kind of Ghanaian goulash. In Twi, poto means “to mash/grind.” (“mpotompoto”—note that lovely reduplication again). However, the root vegetable used is not necessarily mashed, just cooked in broth until the starch, whether cocoyam, African yam, white sweet potato, or cassava, disintegrates. This dish is also recommended as a weaning food for young children. It makes a light, comforting, one-pot meal.
There are many variations of this dish. This is a simple one using dried ground red pepper, cocoyam, palm oil, salt, tomatoes, and dried shrimp. If cocoyams/taro are not available at your local grocery store, try an Asian market.
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