My 4 simple steps to a quick Efo riro ati iyan


Efo riro is a very easy and common dish around Nigeria, mostly Yoruba people eat this dish.

People have many different ways of making their efo riro. Any way you make it will still taste delicious, but I personally love to make it this way. follow my steps below for a quick and easy Efo Riro dish!

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 chili
  • 2 large bunches of fresh spinach
  • Palm oil
  • Efo seasoning
  • salt
  • chili powder (optional)
  • Maggie stock cubes
  • chicken/Beef/Goat what ever 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 chili 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 chili powder (optional) and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes. Then wash your spinach through out. Chop your spinach up and wash again. Now add your spinach and cover the pot and allow to steam/cook for 15 minutes. (some people cook for 5 minuets but i personal like it well cooked as does my Yoruba Boyfriend) Add your chicken/meat to the soup when your chicken/meat is cooked through out.

Step 4 – Prepare your yam!

Fresh yam – If you are preparing fresh yam, I would advice you to:

  • 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 you pestle and begin pounding.
  • Pound all the large peaces first and then pounded all the lumps out of it. (this can be tiring) hehe. 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 through out, 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)
  • Rap your yam in clingfilm to keep its shape and heat if you are not going to eat it right away.

Now serve and Enjoy! 🙂

Nigerian Snacks

I am not a fan of snacking on healthy food, although i know i really should be. lol Not that i dont enjoy healthy food, i do, but its just not often that i snack on a carrot O.o So for anyone looking to loose weight or looking for a very healthy guide or post, i am probably not the right person to come to, i love my heavy Nigerian food too much hehe

So today i thought i would make a little list of what people in Nigeria and also me, like to snack on. Anyone who knows Nigeria well, will know snacking is not the same as it is in the UK where you can find a shop on every street and get ice cream or a hundred chocolate bars n cakes lol

So what do Nigerians do when they fancy a snack? (Any many others who enjoy Nigerian food)

Below is a list with pictures of SOME snacks i know i enjoy and many of my Nigerian friends enjoy too:


  • Puff Puff – A very well known snack in Nigeria, though it is not something that would be eaten every day or even every week. Puff puff is almost like Donuts, only heavier! lol puff puff is a deep fried snack made with Plain Flour, yeast, nutmeg, Sugar, salt, Vegetable Oil (for frying).


  • Plantain Chips – This one is probably more known to many people as it can be bought almost everywhere now. Plantain chips is fried ripe or unripe plantain. Crunchy small snacks.


  • Chin Chin – Chin chin is a very basic and simple snack made with milk, sugar, flour, margarine, nutmeg and oil for frying. Almost everyone in Nigeria must have made some nice crunchy chin chin at some point in there lifes, some more than others lol. I enjoy having some chin chin once in a while but the problem is, i don’t know when to stop when i start eating a bowl lol good thing about chin chin is, when you store it in a air tight container it can last for weeks!


  • Shuku Shuku – Just the thought of these little coconut balls makes me want to munch a whole bowl! lol as i am a BIG fan of coconut snacks. Shuku Shuku is a snack/desert made with coconut chaff, egg yolks, icing sugar and Bread crumbs. Sometimes it is made with Evaporated milk instead of the egg yolks. I think thats for the non baking method.


  • Nigerian Meat Pies – Now i know this isnt always a “snack” for everyone. but for me, its something i would call a snack as they can sometimes be made small too. Nigerian Meat pie is usually made with Minced meat, Potato and carrot. Its pastry is suppose to be nice and moist not flaky. I notice something though, Nigerian meat pie is not actually any different from the one we made back home in Scotland.


  • Suya – Suya is a spicey meaty snack or can even be eaten as part of a meal, If you are like me and will put anything together and call it a meal 🙂 Suya is made from Strips of beef with mixed spices, ground nut and peanut oil. Easy to make.. This is a great snack for meat lovers!


  • Sugar Cane – Now, this one i have not yet tried as it is hard to come by in the UK. But i have been told about it by my boyfriend a lot. I believe they suck it to get the natural sugar from it.. i’m not 100% sure on that.. My boyfriend enjoys it a lot when he is in Nigeria and i am also looking forward to trying some!


  • Indomie – Ahhhh the famous indomie! lol This may not be considered a snack to everyone, but i see it as a snack and also a meal. As i like to have it sometimes for a quick snack or if i am really hungry, ill take two packets as a meal 🙂 Indomie is simply instant noodles, With a little packet of flavoring and chili/spice. Someone people think it is the same as all instant noodles but i don’t agree as the flavoring is somehow better! Everyone in Nigeria must have eaten Indomie on more than 10 occasions hehe It is a very easy and quick snack. You will find students who go away from there home and there mothers cooking, tent to live on indomie through out college, mainly boys! lol!!

That is just a few Nigerian snacks to give you an idea for those who dont know. There is of course many more snacks in Nigeria but this is the ones i enjoy most 🙂

Thanks again for reading and for all the views and comments so far. It is very appreciated! 🙂 God Bless

Step by step guide for the perfect Efo Elegusi soup with Pounded yam

Efo Elegusi soup is a Nigerian dish made from Egusi seeds (melon seeds). There are many different ways people make efo elegusi soup. below is a step by step guide on how i make it. With pictures i took myself while cooking it.  You can enlarge each picture by clicking on them.

Ingredients needed Are:

(you can choose from any meat or fish you like)

  • Fresh or smoked fish or stock fish
  • Goat meat
  • Assorted meat – beef, ox tail, cow tongue
  • Chicken
  • 3 Onions
  • 1 can of plum tomatoes or jar tomatoes (which ever you prefer)
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 atarodo (hot peppers)
  • Curry powder
  • Chili powder
  • 3 or 4 Maggie stock cubes (or any vegetable stock cubes)
  • All purpose Seasoning
  • Palm oil
  • Spinach leafs (fresh spinach is always better
  • Egusi seeds
  • salt
  • Yam or Yam flour (poundo iyan) – which ever u prefer
  • water

You will need a blender (hand blended or full blender)

First step! Get all your ingredients at the ready.


While you are preparing Preparing your soup it is best to cook your beef during this time (or fish, what ever you choose to use, i chose beef 🙂 cook it very well and season very well. How you like your meat is up to you though. I personally like to boil it for a hour or more so it is soft and well done.


Now we get our chopping board and get our Spinach leafs, chop off the ends carefully and wash very well. Now chop you spinach into strips. (it looks like strips to me anyway lol)


Put your spinach aside for later. Most people add their spinach to the soup raw without cooking first, but my hubby and i like our spinach well done so i cook it in a pot of water for a minuet or so and add it to the soup last.

Next get you Egusi seeds. Add them to your blender or if you are using a hand blender like i do, Add them to a deep container and blend them very very well so that no part of the seed is whole. It should be very powdery and not lumpy. As you can see below.


Now get one onion and chop it and add it to your blender or deep container (for hand blending) and add just a little water, about half a cup. Now blend up and add this onion’y water to your egusi. mix together until your egusi looks like a kinda paste.

Now get your Red pepper and 2 chili peppers. cut up into fine pieces and add to blender or deep container. Also add you can of tomatoes. Chop a onion and add this to the blender also. Now blend it all together and sit aside for later.


Now get a large pot or pan and add about 2 table spoons of palm oil. you can add more or less. depends how oily you like it. Now add 1 chopped onion and allow to fry for about 3 minuets or so. When the onions are browned, Add your blended peppers/tomatoes into the pot. Allow to simmer for a few moments.

Now add 2 table spoons of chili powder and 1 table spoon of mixed spices. Add 2 table spoons of salt and 1 crumbled up stock cube..

Now get you Egusi mix and scoop it into the soup. You dont need to mix it all through. Just scoop onto the top of the soup like below. When you cover the pot to cook it will spread through the soup on its own. Now start adding your spinach and leave to simmer for 5 minuets before checking on it.


Next add your beef, some people add the beef before the spinach. I personally dont as i like the spinach to really cook well in the soup. Now leave for a further 15 minuet to allow the beef to flavor in the soup. Keep checking on it to assure it is not burning :p hopefully it should now look like the picture below.


If not, you have done something wrong! heheh

Now for the pounded yam. If you are using powdered yam., need i tell you how to make it? haha it is very simple, boil water very well add add the powdered yam bit by bit and mix mix mix till it is smooth and no lumps. Press against side of pot to reduce the lumps.

As for REAL yam 😛 you will need a Mortar and pestle for this

First of all, peel your yam and cut into cubes or chunks. Boil in your pot for roughly 30 minuets. keep checking to see when if is soft enough for pounding. Pierce with a fork to know how soft it is. When it is done, Add the Yam chunks to your Mortar and use the pestle to mash it up (pound) continue like this for as long as it take lol keep pounding and get all the lumps out until it is smooth and has a nice texture.

Now lay your pounded yam onto a plate with Cling film on the plate, You will now shape the yam with your hands. Wet you your hand first and now start shaping it to make it more smooth and look better!


Wrap your yam in clingfilm to keep its shape or to keep it warm for longer, if you wanna eat it right away then you dont really need to wrap it in cling film.

Now plate up you Efo Elegusi and pounded yam and enjoy! It should look like my pic below if you have followed my steps correctly 🙂 Dont forget to wash your hands before eating hehe.

Thanks for reading and i hope you learned a thing or two 🙂 Enjoy cooking! 😀

Ese pupo.