- Shoko Leaves1 BunchWashed thoroughly and rinsed. Approximately 5 heaped cups. You can substitute with spinach or kale. It is called Silver Cockscomb leaves in english
- Tomato2 Pieces
- Red Chilli Pepper4 PiecesLocally called shombo. You can substitute with 2 Tatashe
- Scotch Bonnet or Habanero Pepper6 PiecesFresh Red Pepper, locally called ata rodo
- Yellow Habanero Pepper (Optional)2 PiecesLocally called Cameroon Pepper
- Palm Oil1/2 CupsAbout 2 cooking spoons
- Locust Bean3 to 4 TablespoonsLocally called Iru. Iru is very important to this dish, so don't skip.
- Ground Crayfish3 leveled Tablespoons
- Red Onion2 Pieces
- MeatI used tripe (shaki) and cow hide (ponmo). You can use beef, goat meat or whatever you want
- StockfishAny quantity you want
- Dried FishAny quantity you want. Wash and soak first in hot water to soften
- Dried Shrimps1/4 to 1/2 CupsOr any quantity you want. Locally called Oporo
- Meat Stock1/2 CupsOr more. This isn't an exact measurement, just use as required
- Maggi Seasoning CubeTo taste
- SaltTo taste
Step 1. Chop half of one onion, set aside. Rough blend the tomatoes, peppers and the remaining onions together. You should do a dry blend with no water added. I used a vegetable and chilli grater to blend mine. If you will be blending normally, make sure you steam after blending until all the water dries up.
Step 2. If you will be using ponmo(wash thoroughly and properly soak it in hot water first), put it in a pot, add enough water and boil for about 10 minutes, then add the shaki or any meat you will be using(washed thoroughly), season with garlic powder, white pepper, chilli powder(ground pepper), 1 tablespoon crayfish, Maggi and salt(add to taste so the stock will turn out tasty). Let it cook until tender.
Step 3. Once the meat is almost tender, add the dried fish, stockfish, add more water if needed and cook until everything is tender enough. Set aside after cooking.
Step 4. Add palm oil to a pot, heat up until hot (but not bleached!), then add the chopped onions. Fry for about 3 to 4 minutes. Don’t do this on high heat so the onions won’t burn
Step 5. Then add the locust bean (iru). Stir and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes so it will release its flavours into the oil, then add 1 tablespoon of ground crayfish.
Step 6. Stir and cook for a few seconds to a minute then add the blended pepper puree.
Step 7. Stir and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, then season with salt and Maggi cube to taste.
Step 8. Let it cook for about 4 minutes then add the dried shrimps. See third picture above for what the sauce looks like at this point.
Step 9. Let it cook until the sauce is done. You will know it is done when the oil floats to the surface and the pepper doesn’t taste raw. You may need to supplement on liquid if you notice the sauce drying up. Just add a cooking spoon or more of your meat stock to the sauce. Don’t add too much. Efo riro usually doesn’t contain as much liquid as other soups.
Step 10. When the sauce is done, add the stock in cooking spoons full and add the remaining tablespoon of crayfish. Remember, Efo Riro isn’t watery at all, so add as little stock as possible to start with. I started with 1/2 cup and just supplemented as required. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes then add all the meat and fish. See 4th picture for what it looks like at this point.
Step 11. Stir, taste for salt and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Step 12. Add the washed and rinsed shoko leaves, stir well until combined and let it cook for about 3 minutes or until the leaves are wilted. Then switch off the burner. Let it sit on the burner and let it steam for another 3 to 5 minutes with the pot covered before serving.
**Leafy greens shouldn’t be cooked for too long, so be sure to not cook your vegetable for long. If after cooking your Efo riro and it has more liquid in it than it should, just drain off any extra liquid using a strainer or colander.
Done. Your Efo riro is ready. Serve with any swallow of choice. I served mine with Eba, see second picture 🙂