My 4 simple steps to a quick Efo riro ati iyan (Egusi stew with pounded yam)


Efo riro is a very easy and common dish around Nigeria, mostly Yoruba people eat this dish. (Also known as Egusi)

You can find the following ingredients in any local Nigerian store/market.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 tin/Jar of chopped tomatoes (or 4 small fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 scotch bonnet chilli
  • 2 large bunches of fresh spinach
  • Palm oil
  • Efo seasoning
  • salt
  • chilli powder
  • Maggie stock cubes
  • Chicken/Beef/Goat – whatever u prefer
  • Yam or powdered Yam <<Not advisable, Real yam is always better
  • water


Step 1 – Add your chicken/beef/goat meat to a large pot with water and 2 or 3 maggie stock cubes and a little salt. Allow to cook for 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 2 – Get a large pot or pan and add 3 table spoons of Palm oil. Now chop 1 onion into very small pieces along with your scotch bonnet, add the seeds too if you like it spicy! Add your onion and chilli to the oil and allow to fry for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – Now blend all you tomatoes/ chopped tomatoes together and add to your oil with 2/3 table spoons of Efo seasoning and 1 table spoon of chilli powder and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Then wash your spinach  your spinach and chop. Now add your spinach and cover the pot and allow to steam/cook for 15 minutes. Add your chicken/meat to the soup when your chicken/meat is cooked throughout.

Step 4 – Prepare your yam!

Fresh yam – If you are preparing fresh yam:

  • Cut and dice your yam before preparing the soup, then boiled your yam in a pot.
  • When your yam is cooked and soft (you can check if it is ready by stabbing it with a fork to check if it is soft) put your yam pieces into your pestle and begin pounding.
  • Pound all the large peaces first and then pounded all the lumps out of it. Add water little by little to get the right texture. Its best to use the water you cooked your yam in as it has more starch!
  • Powdered Yam- Simply boil water, about 2 cups, in a pot and add the yam powder and mix throughout, try to mix fast and press against the side of the pot to remove any lumps.
  • Set your yam by shaping it with your hands (wet your hand first)
  • Wrap your yam in clingfilm to keep its shape and heat if you are not going to eat it right away.

Now serve and Enjoy! 🙂

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