Nigerian Egusi soup
Egusi soup has been my favorite since I became aware of taste and I always get the best of it whenever we visit my mother’s hometown (Ondo state in Nigeria) where it is prepared alongside Fufu or pounded yam.
OMG!!!! We will eat until constipated and it can be served all day long until you are tired.
The chief ingredients here is the “melon seeds”. Melon seeds are very nutritious in that it majorly consist of proteins and fats with some vitamins which includes vitamin C and E.
It is also researched that it helps fertility in men, so to me, melon soup is ranked as A-soup in my list of soups. OK, so not to bore you, let’s get down to how its prepared.
The style of cooking Egusi differs with regions. In the south west, the blended melon seeds are dropped in chunks so it forms little balls in the soup while in the south east, it is majorly distributed.
Also, I won’t say there are two types of the soup but that I have eaten plain melon soup without any veggies and I have eaten the vegetable infused one. I loved the later better and I realised caterers uses mostly 3 types of leafy vegetables;
1. Ugwu leaves (pumpkin)
2. Water leaves
3. Bitter leaf (Note it can be combined in percentages and proportions as it suite you)
- 4-5 pieces of dried fishes
- 3cups of melon seed
- 2 onion bulbs
- Habanero pepper (rodo)
- 2cooking spoon palm oil
- Seasoning cubes (to taste)
- Beef tripe (shaki) -optional
- Cray fish (grinder or whole)
- Cut and washed fresh Ugwu leaves
Cut, washed and squeezed small bitter leaves (optional)
- Beef or chicken (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Cow Skin
When cooking soups, I like setting up my ingredients first in little saucers so as not to miss anything.
- Mix your blended egusi seeds with water to make a paste (if you want to make it in a chunk, add very little water so you can mold, if dispersed, mix with more water to make paste and not watery). Set aside.
2. Next step is blend your tomatoes, pepper, onions.
3. Wash your dried fish, your leaves, crayfish.
4. Boil and Season, boil and fry your beef or chicken and lastly
you can choose to dice your cow skin (pomo) as you will see under or use it whole.
Once you have all these sorted out, cooking becomes so easy.
5. Put your pot on a medium set light, pour your palm oil and let it come alive.
6. Add your pepper and after 2-3 minutes add your dried fish, beef, crayfish and other intended proteins.
Now, let it cook for like 5minutes until the pepper is near done with the proteins inside.
Then, add your melon paste, do not stir immediately, reduce the heat and after some minutes when it’s really bubbling up and cuddling
Add your veggies and stir.
Add your salt and seasoning cube to taste and cover to simmer for more 3-5 mins to finish.
Prep time mostly 30 minutes unless you have sorted it out from the market while the cooking time is maximally 25 minutes and that’s it folks, you have a very delicious Egusi which I just prepared to go with FUFU, pounded yam and even white rice. Enjoy.
As I would always say and I mean it! I love you guys and please don’t forget to comment and share.