Holiday Feature

Odessa's Candied Yams

Serves 8 to 10
Cooking time: 25 minutes


In Africa there are fifty-nine varieties of yellowy white-fleshed yams, but only five of them are eaten. There is no similarity between the yams found in Africa and what we call yams, because the yams here are really sweet potatoes. Candying the potatoes is one way to eat them. They can also be baked, fried, or eaten raw.


6 medium yams
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
8 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Peel the yams and slice them lengthwise.

2. Place the yams in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.

3. Drain half the water and place the yams and remaining water in a large skillet or pan.

4. Sprinkle with half the nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar.

5. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 3 minutes.

6. Add the remaining nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, and the vanilla extract.

7. Spoon the mixture over all the yams and allow to simmer slowly for 15 minutes until the yams have absorbed all the syrup.

8. Remove from the heat until ready to serve.


The Complete Kwanzaa:
Celebrating Our Cultural Harvest

by Dorothy Winbush Riley
Designed by Gloria Adelson/Lulu Graphics
$23.00 (hardback)
HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 0-06-01725-0
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Global Holiday Pageant

Introduction to Kwanzaa



This page created December 1998; modified November 2006