Egusi soup is an exotic, rich, and hearty food that will satisfy your taste buds. It is a staple food in most West African countries under different names and an uncomplicated one-pot meal to make.
Egusi is a wild member of the gourd family, with very dry skin and bitter flesh. It looks the same as watermelon seeds but tastes quite differently. They are extremely nutritious and high in protein and oil. They are often used in West Africa as a thickening agent in soups and add depth to most soups.
Every household has a distinct way of making egusi soup. Some people add tomatoes (diced or blended), some people don’t blend their fresh peppers, some add shrimps and prawns, some add dry fish, some use different vegetables like bitter leaf, basil (scent leaves), ugu, spinach or a combination of different leaves.
There is no rulebook or limit to what you can put in your soup. For this recipe, we’ll be sticking to ugu or spinach leaves and blended peppers.
Egusi soup is served accompanied with swallows like Eba, amala, semovita, pounded yam, fufu, wheat, and others You can also serve egusi over rice.
323g of egusi has 462 calories
Serve with any swallow of your choice or white rice.
Gather all the ingredients together
Soak the ground egusi with the beef/chicken stock and set aside.
Wash the stockfish and soak in hot water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Wash and clean the pomo. Cut into bite sizes.
Cook the meats with 1/4 of the onion, seasoning cube and salt to taste. Boil it in its own juices until almost dry; then pour in some water to the level of the meat and check for seasonings.
Blend the peppers and 1 onion together until smooth.
Cook the blended pepper till the water is reduced. This should take about 15 minutes on medium heat until the water is reduced, stirring about every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
Heat the palm oil in a pan and allow it to heat up over medium heat but don't overheat the oil.
Add the remaining onion (diced) and let it cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
Add the soaked egusi and allow to fry until it forms lumps for about 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the pot and burning.
Add the blended pepper and stir. Add more water to correct the thickness to your taste and leave to boil for 5 minutes.
Add the crayfish, Cameroon pepper, dry fish, pomo, stockfish, meat, and leave to cook again for another 5 minutes.
Stir in the ugu/spinach and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes (stir constantly). Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve while still hot.
Note that any accompanying side dish will increase the calorie count of your meal.
Don't add anything in the egusi before frying or else, you will end up with a flat and dull finish.