Nigerian Street Food: Golden Roasted Corn with Ube

aka Agbado yinyan. 

It is the season for tasty oranges, cucumbers, pineapples and pyramids of Ube, purple African pears that must be roasted on hot coals or soaked in freshly boiled water to eat. When cooked, they taste like avocado, cut through with green olives and a touch of cream.


It is our rainy season – summer and winter to other parts of the world but to us, at home in Nigeria, it is the very wet season. And corn is its pilgrim – roasted and boiled, companion to the pears very much in season. Fresh golden, toasted kernels fall of hot cobs, toasty and fragrant with heat and all of Nigeria’s rainy season sweetness.


When my children talk about summer, I’m quick to remind them this is ‘long vac’, abeg. Long. Vac. They aren’t as big fans of corn as I am though, of chomping it, singing with the ‘mouth organ’ as roasted corn is known as.


There are many ways one could eat roasted corn. With ube seems the most natural choice. Doesn’t it? In a way, this might be the elements, the building blocks for corn tacos and guacamole. Think about it. We have much more in common than we know, than we think, than is at first glance obvious.


Not too far in second place? Corn and fresh coconut.


If I’m honest, I often have the trio. The full trio of corn – soft, toasted, sweet to the bite; perfectly cooked ube – creamy, slightly sour and fresh, crunchy coconut.


What better way is there to enjoy the rains and long vac? Tell me.

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