Nigerian Egusi soup is made with melon seeds and varieties of local vegetables. It is one of the most popular soups prepared by most tribes in Nigeria, with considerable variation, and often eaten with dishes like pounded yam, fufu or garri (Eba). This soup is eaten by most tribes in Nigeria in many different ways. It is known as “MiyanGushi” in Hausa, “OfeEgusi” in Igbo and “EfoElegusi” in Yoruba.
- 2cups of groundEgusi (melon)
- Onions (to your preference – I personally use a lot)
- 1/2 cup red palm oil
- Grounded Cameroon pepper
- Salt to taste
- Locust bean/Ogiri (optional)
- Ground crayfish (to taste)
- Stockfish (head preferable)
- Pomo (cow or goat skin)
- Dried fish
- Deboned Panla (optional)
- Periwinkle (optional)
- Beef or chicken stock
- Choice cooked meats and fish(desired quantity and variety to preference)
- Pumpkin leaf (as needed)
- Bitter leaf (VernoniaAmygdalina) (optional and as needed)
Preparing the Egusi (Melon) Paste
To prepare the paste, put your ground Egusi in a bowl, blend the onions and add them to the Egusi in the bowl, then add your beef stock and mix everything together. Set aside. (Make sure the paste is not too watery and not too thick).
To Prepare the Soup
In a large pot, heat the palm oil on medium for a minute and then add the Egusi paste to it and start frying. Make sure you stir it frequently and at regular intervals (at some point you’ll notice it begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, but not to worry, that’s how we want it). Stir for 20 minutes till the Egusi fries through.
Add beef/chicken stock
Add the meat, well cooked stockfish, pomo, washed dry fish, deboned panla, periwinkle and other bits which you’d like to use.
Carefully add the fresh fish to avoid breakage. (I like to cook mine separately and add it at the end)
Add the vegetable. Leave for 2minutes, adjust seasoning and turn off the heat. Ready!
Most times, I do not add Maggi or salt because my stock is rich.
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Ayoola Levites is a Caterer, Food consultant, Recipe developer, and Addicted foodie based on Lagos, Nigeria. Betay's Kitchen is her teaching arena.