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Efo Riro Recipe | Saveur


Within the language of the Yoruba individuals of Western Nigeria, efo riro means “stirred leaf.” This comforting stew is historically made with shoko leaf, a light bitter inexperienced widespread within the space, nevertheless extraordinary spinach makes an appropriate substitute. This recipe, which is customized from Tola Akerele’s The Orishirishi Cookbook, might be made with both oxtail, goat, or bone-in hen items. Discover the smoked and dried fish (usually catfish), floor crayfish, and ponmo at your native African market or on-line by way of Osiafrik; fermented locust beans (often called iru in Yoruba) could also be ordered dried from Burlap & Barrel. Efo Riro is historically eaten with swallows— starchy sides like cooked and pounded cassava or yam—however it may also be loved with rice or some other cooked grain.

Featured in “West Africa’s Finest-Stored Secret.”

Efo Riro (Nigerian-Type Hen Stew with Greens, Spinach, and Iru)

Fermented locust beans lend their specific savory richness to this conventional West African dish.

Yield: serves 6


1 hour, 50 minutes

For the hen:

  • 1 3¼-lb. entire hen, lower in 10 items
  • 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 3–4 Scotch bonnet chiles
  • 1 smoked and dried fish, resembling catfish
  • 1 1½-in. piece contemporary ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 hen bouillon cubes
  • 2½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. curry powder
  • ¾ tsp. freshly floor white pepper
  • ¾ tsp. dried thyme

For the stew:

  • 8 massive crimson bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 5 Scotch bonnet chiles, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2¼ lb. shoko leaf (or substitute contemporary spinach), cleaned
  • Kosher salt
  • 3½ oz. ponmo (dried cow pores and skin)
  • 3½ oz. stockfish
  • ¼ cups plus 2 Tbsp. floor crayfish
  • 3 tbsp. iru (fermented locust beans)
  • 2 tbsp. palm oil
  • 2 vegetable oil
  • 2 hen bouillon cubes
  • 1 oz. smoked and dried fish, resembling catfish
  • Cooked pounded yam, white rice, or entire grains, to serve


  1. Put together the meat: To a big pot, add the hen, onion, chiles, dried fish, ginger, garlic, bouillon cubes, salt, curry powder, white pepper, and thyme. Add simply sufficient water to cowl, then set over medium-high warmth, deliver to a boil, then decrease the warmth to keep up a simmer. Prepare dinner, stirring often, till the hen is tender and cooked by way of, about 45 minutes. Take away from the warmth and utilizing tongs, switch the hen to a big bowl and put aside. Set a advantageous mesh sieve in a big bowl and pressure the cooking liquid, discarding any solids; set each apart to chill at room temperature.
  2. In the meantime, make the stew: To a blender, add the bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, chiles, and half a cup of water. Mix on excessive till clean and homogenous, about 1 minute. Put aside.
  3. Fill a big pot midway with water and produce to a boil over medium-high warmth. Place a colander within the sink. Working in batches, add the shoko leaves to the pot and blanch till wilted and tender, about 6 minutes. Utilizing tongs, switch the greens to the colander to empty when you proceed cooking the remaining; discard the cooking water. As soon as the spinach is cool sufficient to deal with, squeeze out as a lot extra water as you possibly can, then season calmly with salt and put aside.
  4. Return the pot to the range, set over medium warmth, and add the reserved vegetable purée and cook dinner, stirring often, till barely darkened and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir within the ponmo, stockfish, crayfish, iru, palm oil, vegetable oil, bouillon cubes, dried fish, and the reserved hen. Deliver to a simmer, then flip the warmth to low, stir within the reserved greens, and cook dinner, stirring steadily, till the flavors have melded and every part is heated by way of, about 10 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle the efo riro into bowls and serve with swallows or rice on the aspect.




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