Efo riro is one of my go-to meals when I am hard pressed for time. Who is not these days? With so many things competing for our attention, many moms would want some easy to make dinners without compromising on nutrients and quality. If that is you, then, this efo riro may soon become a favourite family dinner.
Efo riro is a vegetable sauce, a delicious sauce enjoyed by the Yorubas from Western Nigeria. It is nutritious, gluten free, dairy free, fast and easy to cook. Best served with iyan, pounded yam or any fufu of choice.
The word efo, in Yoruba, means vegetables and riro is stir which is kind of explaining the process of preparation of this sauce. It merely means vegetable that is stir-fried in pepper sauce.
The preferred vegetable used for this sauce is shoko, a leafy green (check the benefits of including this as part of your diet), native to Nigeria. Another alternative is tete, also native to Nigeria. They are both similar to spinach and highly nutritious. The vegetable is usually blanched, chopped then, added to the pepper sauce.
In addition to peppers and the vegetables used, other ingredients may include: crayfish, palm oil, panla (stockfish), dried fish, iru( fermented locust beans) and any meat of choice.
Now let's start cooking!
As mentioned earlier, the preferred leafy green for eforiro shoko, and it is not available outside of Nigeria. Any green vegetable would do. Besides spinach, collards green or kale are great substitutes. However, their stems are tough and chewy, so use only the leaves and take out the stem. You could either use fresh or frozen, soak for a minute or two in boiling water allow to cool and squeeze out excess liquid. Then, add to pepper sauce.
If mushrooms and prawns are your things, use them instead of meat or fish.
Palm oil is the preferred oil used in most of West Africa if you prefer to use olive oil, it works. Try this recipe and send me photos on Instagram.
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