This study investigated the water‐starch characteristics of two cocoyam varieties, red (mankanikokoo) and white (mankanifufuo), alongside their relevant physicochemical and pasting properties. Differences between the varieties in their starch content, as well as amylose/amylopectin ratios were identified. Low‐Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (LF‐NMR) transverse relaxation time analysis of flour and starch suspensions of the two cocoyam varieties indicated changes in their gelatinization and retrogradation during heating and cooling. One to two water populations were identified for both varieties and were highly dependent on the temperature and concentration rather than the variety, however the red variety showed higher retrogradation tendency. An increase in relaxation times at 75–80 °C was observed for flours and starches corresponding well to the amylograph pasting temperatures revealed using the Rapid Visco Analyzer.