Efo-riro (Nigerian Vegetable stew)

img 9051

Efo-riro is a rich vegetable soup that is native to the Yorubas of Western Nigeria. I have made mine with eba which is a stiff dough made from garri (cassava grains). The eba is soaked in hot water and then kneaded with a flat wooden spoon till it forms a mashed potato like consistency. This dish transports me back home because I always have it when I am back in the holidays and it tastes better every time.

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 45 mins

Serves: 2


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 red peppers (tatashe)
1 onion, halved
3 tomatoes, halved
1/4 chilli pepper (ata rodo)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
50g frozen shrimps
120g smoked basa fillet, cut into chunks
125g fresh spinach


  1. In a blender combine peppers  , onion, tomatoes and scotch bonnet with 1/2 a cup water. Blend mixture until smooth but not too smooth.
  2. Add vegetable oil to a medium sized saucepan and leave on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once hot add in blended mixture and leave for about 10 minutes till its slightly thickened.
  3. Put spinach leaves in a medium sized bowl and add boiling hot water. Set aside for about 7 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons tomato puree and 2 tablespoons water to make a paste. Add the paste to the stew mixture along with salt and curry powder. Stir
  5. Drain spinach and add cold water. Leave for about 5 minutes then squeeze water and set aside.
  6. Add shrimps and cut basa fillet to stew and stir till fully combined.
  7. Add about 1/4 cup of water to stew and leave to cook for about 7 minutes. Then add spinach to stew, stir and leave to simmer for about 7 minutes. Until it produces its own liquid.
  8. Serve on a plate with eba and enjoy

If you want to go all out and eat this the traditional way, you can use your hand to scoop the eba into little ball shapes and dip into the stew.

Leave a Reply