Vegetable Stew (Efo Riro)

Vegetable Stew (Efo Riro)




10 min


35 min


Vegetable Oil 1/3 Cup
Palm Oil 1 Tablespoon
Tomato Sauce 4 Cups
Bouillon Cubes 1 Tablespoon
Cajun Seasoning 1/2 Tablespoon
Salt 1 Tablespoon
Frozen Spinach 2 Cups
Frozen Kale 1 Cup
Dried fish/ Stock fish (optional) 1/2 cup, or as much as you want :)

This dish, along with Jollof Rice are my signature dishes.

Efo Riro is always a hit whenever/wherever I’ve made it. I remember when I was at Michigan Tech, Abi and I teamed up to make some for International Night, an event for over 500 guests. It was a hit.

Almost a year ago, Jennifer, from Tech, had e-mailed me to ask for this recipe. She remembered me making it for various events and had an event she wanted to try it for. I quickly dug up an old recipe and sent it across. That exchange, partly inspired this blog. Thanks Jennifer!

Efo riro (in Yoruba), also known as vegetable stew, is a staple in almost all regions of Nigeria with variations on the choice of green leaf vegetable. Although this stew is technically made out of vegetables, don’t be fooled though, it’s traditionally not that healthy. The vegetables are usually cooked way too long with copious amounts of palm oil used. It is typically eaten with a morsel.

I try not to cook my vegetables too long, and I also added Kale for its health benefits.

Prep Step 🙁

  1. Prepare your tomato sauce

Cooking Steps

  1. Heat the oils on medium and add in the chopped onions.
  2. Sauteing Onions

    Sauteing Onions!

  3. Add in the spices and then pour in the tomato sauce. Also add in the dried fish or any other protein you would like now.
  4. Sauteing Onions

    Sauteing Onions!

  5. Cook the tomato sauce until it is very thick and starts to clump together. It will take about 30 minutes to cook sufficiently. This process is almost the same as the Meat Stew.
  6. Stew


  7. Next, add in the vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. As soon as the stew starts to bubble around the vegetables, I take it off.
  8. Efo Riro

    Efo Riro!

For vegetarians, don’t add any meat/fish, and use vegetable bouillon seasoning!

So what do you think? Have you ever (will you ever) tried this recipe? How do you like your food? Sweet? Spicy? A little bit of both? Let me know in the comments section below.

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  1. haha I love that the prep step always has a sad face Loll! we thank God for preparations that lead to this type of magical result. nom nom nom 😀

  2. Avatar
    Juliet 2 years ago

    Really want to try this,though I’ve been cooking vegetable stew but want to try this ur recipe but I have problem here. Pls I don’t know this kind of leaf ur talking about(kale) and also the cajun seasoning but if u can give me the substitution for both I’ll be so grateful cos I can’t wait to try this. Tnx

  3. Hey Juliet, Kale is just another kind of vegetable. You can use all spinach, or you can also use collard greens. I add Kale and/or Collard greens because spinach tends to wilt completely in soup.

    Cajun seasoning is a spice blend of salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes. It is usually sold pre-packaged, but you can substitute using your combination of the spices I mentioned. Let me know how it goes, or if you have any other questions! 🙂

  4. Avatar
    Juliet 2 years ago

    Waoh! So yummy . I just made my own cajun seasoning with the help of the spices u mentioned and I used only spinach and it still come out nice and tasty. Thanks a lot Ayo I appreciate.

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