Efo riro is a rich Nigerian vegetable soup mainly cooked by the Yoruba speaking people of Nigeria. Efo riro can be classified as one of the easiest Nigerian soup or stew dishes. It can be made with or without oil. It can also be made with either Palm or Vegetable oil, but traditionally with palm oil.
Creating this recipe for Efo riro was not something I thought about. I was thinking of making some stew and okra, but I decided to make some vegetable soup instead. The only thing was that, I had already started cooking the stew, so what was I to do? Anyway I decided to add the spinach in the already boiling stew. I fried nothing. I just cooked the tomatoes in some boiling meat stock
I love this dish because it is fairly healthy. You may use oil if you want and only add it towards the end of your cooking.
You may also use this recipe for any meat stew with any side and without the vegetables.
I loved the idea of cooking the meat stock with the tomatoes, no flavor was lost and I really did not need to use anymore seasonings. Some people do use Iru i.e. Locust beans, but it is not.
On it’s own, this was just a blissful discovery.
Here is an easy recipe for you
- 1Lb meats(I used turkey and smoked turkey)
- 4tbsps of dry grinded crayfish
- 4tbsps of Iru ie locust beans(optional)
- 1 Knorr cube
- 2tbsps dry grinded pepper or red chili flakes
- 1 habanero pepper or Ata-rodo
- 6 plum tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 crushed clove of garlic(optional)
- 1 inch of grated ginger(optional)
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2lbs of spinach or any vegetable of your choice
- 1 large dry fish(washed and soaked in luke warm water)
- salt to taste
- ½ cup of Palm or vegetable oil(very optional)
- Blend the tomatoes, ata-rodo and half of the onion with minimal water or none. Pour it through a fine mesh sieve to drain off the excess water
- In a soup pot, season the meats with the other half of the onion, crushed garlic, ginger, knorr, 1 tbsp. of grinded pepper and salt to taste. boil it in it's own juices until almost dry; then pour in some water to the level of the meat and check for seasonings.
- If using smoked turkey, wash and bring to boil in a separate pot. Once it has softened, drain and remove the salty skin and set aside.
- Once the meat is almost soft, add the boiled, smoked turkey into it; along with the blended tomato and pepper. Cover the pot slightly, reduce the heat and let it cook. There should be a sweet smell wafting through your kitchen. After about 15 minutes, add the crayfish, iru and dry fish. At this point, if using any oil, it would be okay to add it. Taste for seasonings, and cook until the tomato has reduced. If you used any oil, the oil should float to the top; if not the tomato would just be slightly thick with no sour or acidic taste to it. Add the spinach and the other tbsp. of the dry grinded pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes to prevent the Spinach from over cooking.
- Turn off the heat and let the soup rest before serving