Nigerian Weddings: How To Prepare Mouth-Watering Efo Riro

efo riro

Efo Riro is a very popular Yoruba soup in Nigeria, which is favourite not just among Yorubas, but among other ethnic groups in Nigeria. It is one of Nigeria’s soup that comes with a lot of health benefits. The term “Efo means vegetables; hence, it is a rich Yoruba soup. Hardly would you find a Nigerian wedding where the mouth-watering Efo riro isn’t served.

While it is a bit similar to the popular edikaikong soup (in fact, Efo riro is regarded as the edikaikong of the Yoruba), the difference is the use of Red bell peppers (tatashe), spinach, and few other Yoruba local ingredients. In this article, we’ve comprehensively detailed how to prepare that perfect and sumptuous Efo riro that will leave your guests wanting more!

How to Prepare Efo Riro


  • Red bell peppers (Tatashe)
  • Medium onion bulb
  • Scotch bonnet (Atarodo)
  • Palm oil
  • Medium onion bulbs (thinly sliced)
  • Blended crayfish
  • Red prawns (head detached)
  • Shredded fish (smoked catfish preferably or eja osan) properly washed and de-boned
  • Parboiled meat (goat meat or beef, shaki and/or Ponmo)
  • Whole locust beans (iru woro)
  • Salt to taste
  • Maggi cubes (preferably Knorr cubes)
  • Chopped fresh spinach leaves (Efo tete or Efo Shoko)
  • Or packs of chopped frozen spinach- defrosted
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Other meats you can add to make a delicious Efo Riro:

The more the variety of meats and fish in your Efo riro, the better it tastes; and the more praise you get from your wedding guests. Who doesn’t love being complimented? You bet! We all do! So, what are you waiting for? Feel free to add snails, stockfish, shredded fried chicken or turkey, diced liver, gizzard, and other offal.


If you intend to use fresh spinach, place the spinach in a bowl, add some teaspoon of salt, cover with boiling water and place a lid over the bowl. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes. Rinse out the spinach and squeeze out all excess water.

Before You Cook Efo Riro:

1).If you are using the hard stockfish, soak it for a few hours. Soak the dry fish till soft and debone.

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2).Cut the vegetables.

3).Deseed the tatashe and Atarodo, and grind till coarse.

4). Prepare other ingredients: pound/blitz the pepper, dice the onions and grind the crayfish.

 Cooking Directions:

  • Start cooking the shaki first with as little water as possible as it is the toughest meat in the bunch. This soup should have as little water as possible. So add small amounts of water at a time and top it up as you cook.
  • When the shaki starts to curl, add the dry fish and stockfish.
  • When the shaki is almost done, add beef, stock cubes and some of the onions and cook till all the meat and fish are well done. Set these aside.
  • Place a large pot over medium heat, pour in the palm oil; heat oil until a little smoky.
  • Add the sliced onions and fry until lightly browned.
  • Fry the tatashe, and pepper till there’s no more water in it. Cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes (The palm oil will float to the top when the sauce is ready).
  • Add the locust beans, crayfish, and stir very well.
  • Then add the cooked meat and fish, stir very well.
  •  Lastly, add the spinach, and combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Leave to simmer for another 3-5 more minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Serve!
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Efo riro is best enjoyed with Amala, Pounded Yam, Eba, Fufu, Wheat, and Semo. Others eat it with Yam, Rice, Boiled/Fried Plaintain etc. What do you like eating it with? Kindly leave a comment below.


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