Recently I tried it with yellow Eba, which I didnt grow up eating, we ate eba made from the whitish garri(Ijebu garri precisely) ,But hubby suggested we try the yellow garri one day(coming from someone who isnt a foodie), I thought i'd try it too.Not bad I must say!
I love efo riro with boiled rice, without the usual stew! My love for this combo is a recent development ,over a year ago I guess.
I grew up using Ugwu leaves but I use spinach more often. Its really simple once you have your Spinach, if you're in the US, you may substitute ugwu and spinach for 'collard greens"or 'kale'. kale is becoming popular in Nigeria lately also thanks to farmers who carefully plant and nurture it in areas that have "kale-friendly" weather. In Ibadan and other south western states, its not called just spinach, there are many species,efo shoko, efo tete....
I must confess I am not a fan of dry catfish or dry fish generally,however,I have learnt to like stockfish, I am one of those who believe you can put any kind of protein/meat in your vegetable soup. Thats why I like one of my ajebo(sophisticated) cousins Tosin, I think its pulled/shredded chicken she puts in her efo-riro....and it tastes really good! smoked chicken is a winner now in my efo riro especially when making no oil, or low oil efo riro. To achieve a tasty low or no-oil Efo riro, you need natural flavoring ingredients: meats, smoked chicken,beef stock, locust beans(iru). All these will make your soup tasty without "oil police" coming after you. LOL!
How I make mine
- Spinach Chopped
- Some tatase
- Some habanero(ata rodo)
- One or Two tomatoes(some people dont use tomatoes at all)
- chicken/beef stock
- Palm oil
- iru/Locust bean
- Ponmo(cow skin)
- Stock fish
- already boiled and seasoned goat meat
- chopped onions
Blend the habaneros, tataste and tomato with some of the onions,it doesn't have to be a very smooth paste.
fry some chopped onions and the locust bean in one tablespoon of palm oil,some people make it oiless,thanks to the sudden awareness of fitness. Id say,too much of everything is bad. Okay, so, add the pepper paste,add the stock and seasoning and the stock fish, smoked catfish (if that's what you are using),ponmo and already cooked goat meat or whatever meats you want to add (chicken or snail).just make sure its precooked.
Boil some water and pour over your already chopped spinach, this is called blanching. drain the water from the spinach and squeeze the excess water.Allow your sauce to simmer for a bit,season to taste ,be careful not to burn it.
You may want to let the water in the sauce dry up a bit because no matter how squeezed the spinach is, it will still release some water into your sauce. However, I like my Efo riro stewy and not dry so that it flows well with my rice.
drop the spinach in the sauce and allow to simmer a bit more, avoid overcooking the leaves, it has already been blanched.
serve with rice ,amala or anyhow you want it. Enjoy.......