Idiom vutam

​Idiomvutam, a pounded food, is a traditional meal mostly known by the southern part of Nigeria, especially, riverain states such as Bayelsa and Rivers.It is also known as Onunu ( the letter ‘o’ calls its name) by the Ijaws, Okrika and Kalabaris. ‘Idiom vutam’ is what it is called by the Degemas. 

It is something I really like but can’t eat much because just a little is very filling and moderation is very important. 


This meal is made up of yam and ripe plantains, red palm oil and salt. It is usually eaten with pepper soup, stew, odu (a light fish soup) etc. I even enjoy it on its own.


The yam (may be a tuber or half) is sliced, peeled  and washed then put in a pot to boil.

The ripe plantains (5 to 8) are also washed cut into two or three parts and put into the yams to boil till cooked.

When that is done, get a mortar and a pestle . Put some oil and salt into the mortar; also some pieces of the boiled yam and plantains (remove the peels before pounding) and pound them together till they are mixed properly. Remove the first batch and put another if there’s another, if not , your Idiomvutam is ready!  

It was eaten (chewed not swallowed) with eggs and tomatoes sauce. 

If you haven’t tried it before please do and let me know what you think.

Mushroom Stew

Mushroom had never been something to like  as food… well, until an in-law brought it.

After it had been washed severally, I was instructed.

 ‘Don’t add water to the mushroom. It has water already. Put some salt and pepper

When next I went to check the pot on the stove , I was surprised. There was water up to half of the small pot that was used. The stove was turned off. 

I tasted the mushrooms and found them tolerable.  

Another day, mushroom stew came to mind and this was how I made it the second time. Although, I think I liked the first more .


Fresh tomatoes

Canned tomatoes

Ginger and garlic

Bouillon cubes (2)  



Oil ( red palm oil)


African nutmeg



The fresh tomatoes were washed and blended together with the onions, garlic, ginger and African nutmeg.

 After which the stove was lit and a pot was placed on it.                         The oil went in and just a few seconds went by then the tomatoes. It simmered for a few minutes during which salt , pepper, bouillon cubes and thyme went into the pot. Then the already boiled mushrooms with its liquid was poured in and allowed to boil.                                   The stew was checked for a satisfactory taste. Then the fire was turned off.

It was eaten with boiled rice and later with boiled yam.

Beans and Vegetables (Carrots and Cabbage)

​It is a fact that most children do not like beans and most people do not readily eat beans with as much fervor as they do with other meals. 

I didn’t like it too but things changed, maybe it was cooked differently. For me, it became delicious when it is cooked with lots of red palm oil (until the prize skyrocketed). I found other styles of cooking it.

For this one I had: beans, cabbage, carrots, palm oil, onions, salt, pepper, bouillon cubes, garlic, ginger – if you wish. Other vegetables could be added, and use whatever peppers want to.  

This method could be used as well as any other one.
The beans where selected, washed, parboiled and put back on the stove  (please use any available pot). 
After boiling for a while add your salt, bouillon cubes, peppers, ginger, garlic and let it boil till it is soft.Then put in the Palm oil. Add sliced cabbage and the chopped carrots  with any other vegetables you like. 

Using another method

One could also stir fry the cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger and any other vegetable using the palm oil. After which the perboiled beans is stired into the vegetables and left to heat and mix properly for awhile.

Either way it will taste  delicious.

Try it soon!