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a bowl of yoruba efo riro.
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5 from 3 votes

How to Make Efo Riro

This is the best efo riro recipe you can find anywhere on the internet. If you are looking for how to make efo riro, look no further, you are at the right place. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Nigerian
Keyword: Efo riro, How to make efo riro
Servings: 8
Author: Ajoke


  • 3-4 bunches of efo tete about 600g. Substitute efo tete with shoko, spinach or kale
  • 3 red bell peppers tatashe
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies use according to preference
  • 2 onions
  • 1 cup palm oil use more if you prefer
  • 3 tbsp locust beans Iru woro
  • 1 whole smoked mackerel
  • 2 medium Smoked ponmo washed and diced
  • 2 tbsp Ground crayfish
  • Salt
  • 2 beef boullion I used Nigeria Knorr



  • I used smoked dried ponmo for this recipe, you can also use fresh ones if you want. If you are using the dried ones, soak them in warm water for at least 36-48 hours. Wash ponmo clean (use wired scourers for easier job) and set aside
  • Pick the vegetable from the stalk and slice into chunks( see photo for reference)
    Rinse vegetable clean, drain and set aside
    Wash locust beans and set aside
    Chop 1 onion and set aside
    Shred the smoked fish into flakes and also set aside
    Blend the peppers with the remaining onions with little water coarsely and set aside (I sieved the blended pepper as I choose not to boil the pepper)

How to cook efo riro

  • Place a pan on  medium heat and add palm oil, heat for about 5 minutes but don’t bleach
  • Add iru woro and chopped onions and fry for about 2 minutes (In this case, I used half of the locust beans and saved the rest before I finished cooking the soup)
  • Add the blended pepper to the palm oil and stir to combine, after about 3 minutes, add the remaining locust beans. Add the diced ponmo and ground crayfish and cook for another 3-4 minutes on low heat
  • Add seasoning (bouillon cube/stock) and pinch of salt. (check for salt at the later stage of the cooking)
  • Whilst you are waiting for the sauce to cook, boil water enough to cover the vegetable. Once the water is boiled, pour over the vegetable and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Strain and squeeze out excess water from the vegetable.
  • Continue to cook the sauce till oil floats on the top, add half of the smoked fish and stir to combine. (You can add little water to the sauce if it is too dry but do not over do it as efo riro is almost water free)
  • Add the vegetable to the sauce and stir till all is well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining smoked mackerel and carefully combine in the vegetable. Check for salt and cook for another 4 minutes. Take it off the heat and set aside. Serve with a swallow of choice or rice and you can even choose to eat it on its own.