“Efo riro” like the Yorubas call it, it is a rich vegetable soup that is native of the Yorubas of western Nigeria. Many of the Yoruba owambe party dishes is not complete without the efo riro. People from different tribes in Nigeria can testify to how delicious the soup really is.
The beauty of efo riro taste comes from the bleaching of the palm oil, locust beans, the well-seasoned choice of meat and fish.
If you are a fan of healthy food, I guess this is a soup you have to taste.
2kg shoko/spinach leaves
4 Red bell pepper (tatashe)
1 medium onion bulb
2-3 scotch bonnet (Atarodo)
7-10 pieces of stock fish
Seasoning and salt
Half cup of grounded cray fish
2-3 spoons of Iru (locust beans)
Smoked fish (2-3 medium)
Palm oil (200ml)
Before cooking, pick and wash the vegetable well in order to remove dirt or sand, shred and cut it into tiny bits.
Wash the assorted meat and fish, remove the bone from the smoked fish. Soak the stock fish in a warm water and keep it aside.
Roughly blend the tatashe, ata rodo and onion then it set aside.
Rinse the Iru (locust beans) and the crayfish however, don’t drown the iru in water in order not to lose its unique taste.
Place the washed assorted meat of choice in a pot, add your seasoning and salt, add onions, pour a little water and cook till it gets tender. Then later add the smoked fish, stock fish and a cup of water, cook for another 10-15 minutes till it gets tender.
Bring the roughly blended pepper (tatatshe, rodo and onions), boil it well till it forms a thick paste.
Place a pot on the fire, pour the palm oil, and fry the oil until it begins to smoke a little, then fry the onions till it is translucent. Add the boiled pepper and iru and fry for some minutes, make sure you fry it properly.
Add the meat grounded crayfish, stock fish to the fried stew. Reduce the heat of the fire to allow the meat and the stock fish to suck the stew. Keep frying until it gets thick.
Add the shoko and dried fish to the soup. The vegetables and dried fish are added together to prevent the dry fish from getting scattered in the soup. Also, for the dried fish to still have its own unique taste and not get swallowed by another flavor in the soup. Stir the vegetable well for it to mix with other ingredients in the pot.
Taste for any necessary adjustment in the soup for any need for seasoning. Then reduce the heat of the fire in order to retain its nutritional value. Cook for about 3 minutes.By now your efo riro is ready!
Efo riro can be served with Eba, Fufu, Pounded yam, Amala, and even white rice. But the Yorubas love to eat this soup with pounded yam or amala.
Photo credit: 9jafoodie