4 as a starter, 2 as a main

Griddled Yams with Garlic, Chilli & Mint Dressing

Yams are a root vegetable and a staple food in the Caribbean. They all have tough brown skins but, depending on the variety, can have yellow, white or purple flesh. Yams can be used in the same way as you would potatoes and they have a wonderful nutty flavour. Wash your hands after peeling yams, as their starchiness can sometimes irritate your skin.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Caribbean Kitchen

Ebury Press


Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and par-boil the yams for 10 minutes, then drain. You want them to still have a nice bite.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, chilli, sherry vinegar and honey and drizzle in the oil. Add half of the mint, along with some salt and pepper to taste, and give everything a quick stir. Set aside.

Preheat the barbecue or a chargrill pan over a high heat.

Lightly brush the yams with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the barbecue grill or on the chargrill pan (don’t overcrowd the pan, it’s better to cook in batches). Grill the yams for 3–4 minutes on each side, then brush with some of the dressing and continue to grill, turning now and then until nicely chargrilled all over. Use tongs to transfer the yams to a serving dish.

Drizzle the dressing over the grilled yams, sprinkle over the remaining shredded mint and serve with wedges of lime. For non-vegans or vegetarians, accompany the griddled yams with my Barbecued Lime Breeze Prawns (see Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen p131).



  • 1kg yam, washed, peeled and cut into 2cm-thick rounds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • For the Garlic, Chilli and Mint Dressing
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ Scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • a handful of fresh mint, finely shredded
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper