Kale Efo Recipe: When You’re “In The Abroad” and Native Food Calleth


Published: May 20, 2014

It can be sometimes challenging for Africans in disapora to find fresh native vegetables for our traditional dishes.  This recipe is a modified version of Nigeria’s vegetable soup, efo-riro, using kale in lieu of efo-tete or fluted pumpkin (ugwu) leaves.

Kale (or borecole), one of the healthiest vegetables, and a nutritional powerhouse, is rich in the type of antioxidants thought to prevent various cancers. It also has cholesterol lowering effects which protects against heart disease.

Using tomato as the base and eliminating palm oil, you have a tasty soup with unmatched nutritional value. Bon appétit.

Kale Efo

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4


  • 1 bunch of fresh Kale (substitute with efo tete/ugwu)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 maggi cube* (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon curry
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon Cameroon pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large pan, add the olive or coconut oil.
  2. Once hot, add the diced onions and sweat for 5 minutes or until it is see through. Add the tomato puree and fry.
  3. Fry the tomato puree in the oil for approximately 10 minutes to get out the sour taste.
  4. Add all the seasoning (curry, maggi, thyme, Cameroon pepper and salt) stir till thoroughly combined.
  5. Add the chicken stock and stir into the rest of the mixture.
  6. Add the chopped kale and stir till it is fully wilted but not overcooked about 3 minutes.
  7. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Serve with rice, dodo (plantain), pounded yam or oat fufu.

*Seasoning cube is high in sodium. Reducing its intake, or eliminating it from the diet, may help improve your health. Read our seasoning cube feature here.

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter and never miss a post! Plus get a FREE digital version of our Issue No.10 with sign up.


About Lohi Ogolo

Lohi Ogolo is a chef and culinary enthusiast interested in the use of modern culinary techniques infused with African flavors to attract the world to African, particularly Nigerian, foods. She is a graduate of a culinary institute in Toronto, Canada and owner of the food inspired business, Lohi’s Creations. She can be found on Twitter @Lohiscreation or her award winning blog.

Visit My Website
View All Posts
Shop Now

Leave a Comment