Efo is the Nigerian basic vegetable soup or 'stew' (or 'soup' in West African parlance). The recipe given below is for the basic vegetable stew, flavoured with dried smoked fish and hot chillies, like most West African stews


1 bunch greens (collard greens, bitterleaf, sweet potato greens, cassava greens, spinach, spring greens etc), shredded
450g fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 Magi (or stock) cubes
3 hot (eg Scotch bonnet) chillies pounded to a paste
1/2 onion, chopped
6 tbsp of palm oil (or groundnut oil coloured with paprika)
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
450g dry smoked fish
2 tbsp ground crayfish [or prawns] (optional)
bell pepper(s) (optional)
condiments (optional)

Wash and flake the dried fish and add to a pot along with the chopped onion and salt. Add about 50ml water and simmer for 10 minutes then set aside. Meanwhile add a little oil to a pan and fry the remaining onion until softened. Add the tomatoes and chillies and fry for a few minutes then add the crayfish or prawns and any condiments you may use (eg piri-piri sauce). Crumble the maggi (or stock) cubes into the mixture and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down. Add the bell peppers if using and cook for 5 minutes more.

Add the smoked fish mix to the tomato mixtue and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring constantly. Now add the shredded greens, cover the pan and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Finally add the red palm oil and cook for 5 minutes more, or until thoroughly blended. Season to taste and serve over boiled rice.