Nigerian Egusi Soup

Egusi soup is a popular traditional Nigerian soup made with the flour of melon seeds (egusi), broth, vegetables and a number of other ingredients.Like most other Nigerian soups, Egusi soup is an “eating soup”, i.e . it is eaten with a side dish (mostly carbonhydrate ) such as eba, pounded yam, amala etc.

Egusi is a popular dish in many Nigerian ethnic groups starting with the Yoruba tribe and every other tribe. Over the years, I have seen different methods of making egusi soup  as well as different variations of the soup. Some versions are thick, others watery; some with tomato and some without tomato. It is all a matter of personal preference and what you learnt at home.

There is no wrong or right way to cook egusi soup; as long as you and other people who eat the soup can identify it as egusi soup;). Sometimes,when I have a lot of time to spare in the kitchen I make the egusi flour into balls mixed with a bit of water,crayfish and a bit of seasoning. Other times I just pour the egusi as is straight into the pot.  So without further ado, here is one way that I make my egusi soup.

Enjoy the recipe 🙂

Serves:  4-6
Recipe level: Easy
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Meal type: Main dish
Meal time: Heavy lunch or light dinner
Country/Region: Nigeria

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of egusi flour
  • 1 cup blended tomato/tomato puree (please do not use canned tomato paste, make your own fresh blend at home)
  • 4 tablespoons of ground dry crayfish or 1/2 cup blended crayfish/crayfish puree
  • 4 tablespoons of palm oil
  • Cooked  dryfish and/ or stockfish (cleaned, deboned, and cut into chunks), quantity and variety to personal preference
  • Cooked meat of your choice (beef or chicken),quantity and variety to personal preference, reserve the stock to use for the soup
  • 2  cups chicken or beef broth
  • 2 cups fresh green leaves  (efo, ugwu, spinach, kale etc.) (washed and finely sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon bitterleaf,chopped
  • seasoning cubes, maggi or knorr
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dry pepper

METHOD

  1. In a medium sized cooking pot on medium heat, pour in the stock, tomato puree, cooked meat and cooked fish and boil for 5 minutes
  2. Then add the crayfish, seasoning cubes,salt, pepper, and palm oil; boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the egusi flour. Stir properly and let boil for 20 to 30 minutes or until the egusi is properly cooked. (Since egusi swells/rises, make sure you check the dish occasionally and add extra broth or seasoning as needed).
  4. Reduce the heat, add the fresh green leaves, and let boil for another 2 minutes. (I like to taste the crunchiness of my vegetables, so I do not let it boil for too long) .Turn off the heat.

Serve with swallows like eba, pounded yam, wheat, semolina etc

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