Efo riro is derived from Yoruba language in Nigeria. Efo ”Green leafy vegetable” or ”spinach”, and riro, ”to stir”. Traditionally, the Locust bean (Iru) and Crayfish adds a wonderful depth of flavor to this stew but if this isn’t your style you can definitely skip it. Smoked Turkey will be a good alternative in this case.
1- I usually blanch my Spinach before I stir them in the sauce. This is done by adding the cut spinach in hot boiling Water on a high heat and I take it off immediately once it comes to a boil. Then I rinse it under the coldest Water I can get from the Tap a couple of times and I drain off as much water as I can from the Spinach. (Excess water from the Spinach can cause your stew to be too Watery)
2- I also don’t always use Tomatoes in cooking the spinach and I just coarsely blend the peppers. For this recipe I used: 3 large red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet and 1 very small onion.
3- It’s very important not to leave the Efo riro too long on the stove top, otherwise the Vegetables will turn brown and lose all it’s nutrients.
Required ingredients for Efo riro
- 11/2 pounds blanched spinach
- Blended Peppers (3 large red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet and 1 very small onion)
- 1/4 Cup Palm Oil
- 2 Tbsp blended crayfish
- 2 Tablespoon locust bean
- About 2 handful of shredded stock Fish
- 1 handful of dried Prawn
- 1 medium size Onion- diced
- 1 seasoning Cube
- Meat of choice (pre cooked)
Directions for making Efo riro
- preheat the Palm oil – I like it hot but not bleached then add the diced
- Onion and stir fry that until it’s golden brown.
- Add the blended peppers (check notes above for details) and fry until the
- Sauce becomes thick, then add then stock cube, Salt to taste, Crayfish and locust bean, mix it together and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Add the Meat, Stockfish, and dried Prawns and add some water or stock to thin out the sauce, then cover it up again and allow it to come to a simmer.
- Finally, add the Spinach and mix it together thoroughly, then leave it to cook uncovered for about 2 to 5 minutes depending on the quantity of your spinach.
- Serve with your favorite swallow like be, Amala, Fufu or Rice, Yam……Enjoy!
Watch a detailed video on how to make Efo riro below!