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Yam Balls


Edwina from Waakye Leaf in the UK has given us this delicious recipe for bite-sized yam balls - the perfect Ghanaian snack, served with hot, fresh pepper and shito!
Difficulty: easy
Cooking Time: 45mins

Yam balls are a common snack in Ghana and also my personal favourite – as it brings back a lot childhood memories. The joys of biting into the crisp shell of my mother’s freshly fried yam balls with a bit of shito chilli sauce on the side, is incomparable!

Like most African recipes, there is plenty of room for improvisation so you have the freedom to adjust the flavours, seasonings or even add a filling if you wish. At Waakye leaf we make special yam balls with a variety of fillings such us minced meat and prawns. Here is my take on yam balls…I dare you to make it even better and when you do, I would love to taste it first!


  • 1kg Yam
  • Water to boil


  • Salt to taste


  • 100 gms butter


  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • 2 spring onions finely chopped (optional)


  • 1/2 tbsp, coriander, finely chopped (optional)


  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  • 1 egg yolk (keep the egg white)


  • 1 egg (add the remaining egg white and whisk into a mixture)


  • Pinch of ground white pepper


  • Pinch salt


  • Breadcrumbs (preferably panko breadcrumbs)



1. Peel and cut the yam into cubes.

2. Cover in pot with water and season with salt.

3. Boil till soft and then drain out the water.

4. While it is still hot mash the yam together with the butter, egg yolk, garlic powder, white pepper, paprika, adding salt if necessary. Add the finely chopped spring onions and coriander if desired.

5. Roll into small balls and dip into the whisked egg mixture.

6. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate and roll the balls on it, coating it evenly.

7. Now heat oil in a deep fryer, wok or large saucepan to 180°C. Cook them for around 3 minutes until they rise to the top and are golden brown and crisp.

8. Drain the balls on kitchen paper, then place in a warm oven while you cook the remaining balls.

9. Serve this on a platter with some shito and/or freshly ground “pepe” (blended mixture of scotch bonnet, tomatoes and onions with a pinch of salt to taste).