Insider Kitchen: How to prepare boiled plantain with efo riro

Plantain, popularly referred to as (dodo) by virtually everyone, is one delicacy that manages to win the hearts of thousands of people.

Plantain can be boiled, fried or in other cases pounded.

Efo riro (The African Stewed Spinach) is a delicacy from the Western part of Nigeria, which is largely dominated by the Yoruba.

Efo riro usually contains a whole lot of supplements (fish, meat, crayfish, prawn, kpomo, and periwinkle).

A special ingredient, according to most African mothers is the local fermented condiment (iru) also known as locust beans.

Individuals tend to dislike iru because of its smell but it really does add a completely new flavour to the stew! Besides, iru is a very healthy condiment.

Today we are going to prepare a feast! (Even as students we have to enjoy healthy and mouth-watering dishes… abi?)

Here is a list of what you will need.

Three pieces of plantain (ripe or unripe; I prefer to boil ripe plantain although my mum thinks otherwise!)

For the Efo riro

Iru (optional but advisable)
African Spinach; Ugwu (Sliced into tiny strings)
Pepper (ata rodo)
Onions (aka Bitcoin)
Palm oil
Kpomo or ponmo
Prawns… and any other choice of protein you can lay your hands on.

Let’s cook!

Before step one

Rinse the selected pieces of plantain in a bowl of cold water (just normal water) and gently peel off the outer layer.

Cut into three to four pieces each, place in an already clean pot, filled with water and allow to boil until it they get soft.

Step 1

Place a clean pot on your already lit gas cooker or stove, add about two to three spoonful of palm oil. Allow to simmer for a few seconds, add already diced onions.

Step 2

After a few minutes, add already blended pepper and fry! I am laying emphasis on FRY because you need to FRY this sauce until the water practically dries up.

Note: Stir constantly so it won’t get burnt

Step 3

Add your already boiled meat and fish, kpomo, crayfish and any other protein of your choice (Someone I know likes to add boiled eggs)

Step 4

Add your seasoning, salt and the likes. Allow to cook well so the sauce can seep into the meat and its co-members.

Step 5

After a while, add your already rinsed spinach (you might have to rinse more than once to get rid of stones or sand)

Sprinkle the Ugwu on your sauce, wait for ten seconds, then stir everything together.

Step 6

Serve with boiled plantain (it can also be eaten with virtually any “solid” food but in this case, we pick plantain).

Note: Do not place the lid on the pot while waiting for ten seconds, even after bringing the pot down, don’t close it all up.

Leave (a breathing space) for it, as most mothers I’ve come in contact with always say. Besides, I pay heed and it works!

There you have it! Easy to prepare and very healthy!



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  • Bello Olabisi Victoria

    Bello Olabisi, known to most individuals as Dorian is a literature student. She's a dark poet with a weird sense of humor, a spoken word artist, a nature photographer, a freelance writer, an active volunteer and a lover of stuffed toys.

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