Thursday, 3 April 2014

Efo Riro: Vegetable Soup

"Efo Riro" is a delicious soup which is native to the Yorubas in Nigeria; simply translating to "Vegetable Soup". It is rich in flavour and cooked with various meats or fishes; depending on one's personal taste.

There are several leaves that can be used to cook this soup; such as pumpkin leaves, water leaves or green amaranth i.e. "Tete" . However, if you are someone who lives in the diaspora like myself; a good substitute is the amazing and ever-available Spinach leaves. You can either use the fresh spinach leaves from your local afro-Caribbean food stores or use the frozen ones your local supermarkets.

Moving on..... I must say, everyone cooks Efo Riro differently, but just to say, a perfect Efo Riro is one which isn't too watery.... Also, I know Iru (Locust Beans) does not appeal to every individual, but I can assertively say it is one crucial ingredient that should be used. "Iru Ni Oko Efo Riro": Locust Beans is the perfect partner for Efo Riro (IMHO). 

This Recipe focuses on "Fishy" Efo Riro

Ingredients:
Frozen Spinach (1 kg)
Plum tomatoes (1 Can)
Scotch bonnet peppers (x3)
Ball Pepper: Tatase (x1)
Onion (2 bulbs)
Fresh mackerel (1 whole fish)
Palm oil 
Iru (1 tablespoonful)
Smoked fish (1 handful)
Crayfish (1 handful)
Seasoning: Knorr chicken cubes (x2)
Salt to taste
Optional: Stockfish

Instructions
  1. Blend the tomatoes, peppers and an onion bulb;
  2. Cut and wash the mackerel;
  3. Wash the smoked fish and crayfish with boiling hot water;
  4. Chop the remaining onion bulb into cubes
  5. Heat the palm oil on medium heat for 3 minutes (NOT BLEACHED)
  6. Add the chopped onion and fry for 11/2 mins.
  7. Add the blended pepper mixture and let fry for another 5 minutes on low heat
  8. Add the mackerel, seasoning cubes, iru and salt. 
  9. Let cook for another 5 minutes
  10. Add the smoked fish and crayfish
  11. Let cook for another 3 minutes. 
  12. Add the drained spinach leaves and let simmer for 3-5 minutes on low heat 
  13. Voila!!!! Food is ready

N.B: Efo Riro can be served with rice or any swallow (eba, amala, pounded yam, ground rice, semolina etc)


PS: Here is another version of Efo Riro with Beef and Tripe (Shaki) 


And another version of Efo Riro, substituting Spinach for Tètè with Mushrooms and Smoked Turkey






Your girl, 
TL. 






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