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I made you a Nigerian dish. I'm excited - you should be too.

If you read my goals for the year post (hint: you should read it here). I mentioned a project I have been working on for the last six to seven months. Essentially taking my favorite Nigerian foods and tweaking them a bit so they are accesible to everyone (no matter where you are in the world) without lossing the authenticity of the dish.

The traditional recipe for efo riro is loaded of meats (tripe, beef, cow hide), fish (dried fish, cray fish, stock fish) and palm oil (red oil) - some of these are not items you can pick up at your local grocery store and they tend to be high in cholesterol. When I was working on this recipe, I wanted to make it easy and healthier with ingredients that are readily available to everyone and are non artery clogging- so I stuck to just chicken , beef, salmon and shrimp.

I know there are folks out there that may be allergic to seafood or folks that don't like beef. Not to worry, you can tailor this dish to youself. Load it up with only your favorite meats or with just seafood - still works. The traditional recipe calls for palm oil (red oil) - I did not use that in this recipe because I am going for a healthier version of this soup and palm oil has been known to be high in cholesterol. Skipping on the palm oil does not take away from this dish.

If you have access to the speciality / Nigeriian grocery stores and wanted to make this more authentic - here are a few ingredients to add - tripe, smoked/dry fish , stock fish, ground crayfish. If you are adding stock fish, its a good idea to let it sit in hot water over night to soften it up. I usually don't have the patience, so I chuck it in a pot of boiling water and cook it on high for about 30 minutes before I start prepping the rest of the dish. For tripe, cut it to cubes, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and let it cook for 20 to 30 minutes until it soften (or your desired consistency).

This recipe is three parts. The broth , The meats and The Assembly - the first part is one that you should not skim on. It's makes all the difference. If you dont have the time to make the broth part (which happens to me sometimes) - an alternative is to use store bought brought add in 1 chicken stock cube, thyme, onions and cook your meats in that brought.

This was one of my favorites growing up. It is traditionally served with what Nigerians refer to as swallow food or with steamed rice. Going on the healthier route, I have also been serving with with brown rice and quinoa and I cannot tell you how ah-mazing it is.

Ingredients

The Broth 

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 small knorr chicken stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped

The Soup

  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound cubed stew beef
  • 1 1/2 pound chicken (preferably boned in)
  • 1 salmon (or tilapia) fillet , rough chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 medium tomato , diced
  • 2 habenero pepper, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small knorr chicken stock cubes
  • 16 oz bag frozen spinach
  • 1 cup medium shrimp
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

How To

Preheat oven to 350 F

The Broth. Add all the ingredients in a medium to large pot, bring to a boil over medium to high heat. When water begin to bubble up, turn down heat to medium , then add in the chicken and cook for 10 to 12 minutes , then add in stewed beef and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes. Once the chicken and beef is cooked, take off heat and let it cool. Drain the broth and set aside for later.

Line a baking tray with foil paper , place meat on the tray and place in oven for 12 to 15 minutes. optional. [once the oven time is done and depending on the size of the chicken pieces, I like to cut it into bite size pieces at this point. Just a preference for me].

While the meat and chicken is in the oven, you can prep your onions, tomatoes, bell peppers and habernero

The Soup. 

In a medium pot over low to medium heat, add one cup of broth, chicken stock cube and cayenne pepper and bring to a light simmer. Add in the chicken and beef, put a lid over the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Then add in the tomato, peppers and onion, stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the salmon, lid back on and cook for 5 minutes. (give it a taste at this point, if you feel you need more flavoring, add some salt).

Add the spinach, place lid over it and cook down till spinach is cooked through (about 7 to 10 minutes). Give it a stir, so your ingredients are evenly distributed. Then add in your shrimp, lid back on and cook for 5 minutes. Take the lid off, turn heat down to low and just let it simmer for another 7 to 10 minutes. Give it another stir and it ready to serve with either steamed rice, quinoa or Nigerian swallow food.

Cooking notes: It is important to keep the lid on to keep your broth from evaporating and it also let steam help the cooking process. 

Tip. To save myself some cooking time on the weekdays, I usually prep the meat and the broth on weekends and refrigerate until I am ready to use it during the week. It is save your 20 to 30 minutes of cook time.

[If you make anything on this blog, please tag me with #tablewithaviewblog or #tablewithaviewrecipes - I would love to see your creation or how you tweaked it to your preference]