How to Cook Efo Riro (Nigerian Spinach Stew): 6 Easy Steps

Efo Riro is a delicious and vibrant Nigerian spinach stew packed with flavor and nutritious vegetables. It is a popular dish across Nigeria and is often served with rice, yam, plantains, or any other Nigerian swallow of your choice. Follow these 6 easy steps to cook Efo Riro in your own kitchen.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Before you start cooking, ensure you have all the necessary ingredients:

  • 500g of fresh spinach leaves (you can also use kale or other leafy greens)
  • 400g of assorted meats (such as beef, chicken, and/or offals)
  • 200g of smoked or dried fish (pre-soaked to soften if using dried fish)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 large ripe tomatoes (blended or chopped)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 2-3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 2-3 red bell peppers (tatashe) (blended or chopped)
  • 2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (atarodo) (blended or chopped)
  • 2-3 seasoning cubes
  • Salt to taste

Step 2: Prepare the Ingredients

Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them into smaller pieces. If you are using other leafy greens like kale, ensure they are clean and chopped as well.

Season the assorted meats with chopped onions, one seasoning cube, and salt. If using dried fish, soak it in warm water to soften.

Step 3: Cook the Assorted Meats

In a pot, add the seasoned assorted meats and cook over medium heat until they are well done and tender. You may need to add some water to create a flavorful meat broth.

Step 4: Add the Blended Tomatoes and Peppers

Once the meats are cooked, add the blended or chopped tomatoes and peppers to the pot. Stir well and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes until the tomatoes are fully cooked and the pepper blends in with the meat.

Step 5: Add the Palm Oil and Smoked/Dried Fish

Next, add the palm oil to the stew. The palm oil gives Efo Riro its rich color and unique flavor. Stir well to incorporate the oil with the rest of the ingredients.

Add the soaked and softened smoked or dried fish to the stew, breaking it into smaller pieces. This adds depth and extra taste to the stew.

Step 6: Add the Spinach and Season

Finally, add the chopped spinach (or other leafy greens) to the pot. Stir well to combine the vegetables with the rest of the stew.

Season the Efo Riro with ground crayfish, remaining seasoning cubes, and salt to taste. Adjust the seasoning according to your preference.

Let the stew simmer for a few more minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the spinach to wilt slightly.


Cooking Efo Riro is a delightful and flavorful experience that results in a nutritious and satisfying Nigerian spinach stew. With these 6 easy steps, you can create a mouthwatering pot of Efo Riro and savor the unique flavors of this traditional Nigerian dish. So, get ready to enjoy the vibrant colors and rich taste of Efo Riro with your favorite Nigerian accompaniment or on its own for a wholesome and tasty meal.

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