Egusi, otherwise known as Pumpkin Seed or Melon, is most common in West Africa.
Egusi soup is a type of soup thickened with ground Egusi i.e. after the dried melon seeds
must have been peeled and powdered in a grinding engine (usually a hand-operated one).
INGREDIENTS & PREPARATION:
Though the styles of preparing this delicacy may differ from home to home or different geo-political regions, the components required to
cook this meal are the same. They are: Meat and/or Fish, Ground Egusi, Palm (red) Oil, Salt,
Maggi (preferably Know cubes), Stock Fish (optional), Green Vegetables (Ugu, Spinach or
processed bitterleaf), Onions, Seasoning (Onga & curry powder), Water, Dawa-Dawa a.k.a Locust
Bean (optional), Pepper (fresh or dried), Crayfish(recommended).
I am going to briefly tell you how I personally prepare this soup.
WARNING: I am a guy, my method may not be the best. Please refer to your Grand-Mother for more
advice (LOL) .
Since it doesn’t take long for this soup to be prepared, I first season and boil the meat & stock-fish, to soften them.
Next, empty the meat & stock-fish into a container so that the cooking pot is empty. Then dry the pot and pour in the appropriate amount of Palm Oil. When hot, pour in the fish and fry it (i.e. if you are using Iced-Fish). After frying the fish, take them out of the oil into a plate; they’ll be re-united with the soup later. If you’re using meat only, it’s not advisable to fry it; you can do that when cooking stew.
Now that you’re done with the meat or fish, fry the onions and the powdered Egusi for just 1
minute (Egusi gets burnt easily). Add a little salt (while still frying the egusi and onions), then, stir it constantly and do not fry it at the highest level of your stove or gas-cooker! Infact, the other method of cooking Egusi soup does not involve frying it, so just do it mildly. Pour water to it
immediately the 1 minute frying is done.
Make sure the amount of water you just poured in gives a fairly thick mixture (not too thick nor watery). Add your Maggi, pepper, seasoning,
cray-fish, dawa-dawa (remember, it’s optional), then pour in the fried fish and/or meat & stock-
fish, then cover the pot and allow it to boil for like 5 minutes or so (Egusi soup should not take too much time cooking). Next, add a little more water if necessary, then check the level of salt,
seasoning and pepper and add more of them as required. Allow for another 1 minute.
Finally, put in your chopped vegetable(s) and turn-off the stove or cooker after 30 seconds of
doing that. This is so the vegetables don’t turn yellow. The whole process should take roughly
about 15 minutes, and you have a steaming and mouth-watering, aroma-ridden pot of delicious Egusi soup ready to be devoured!
Serve it with any of these: Akpu (called Santa by most students), Garri, Pounded-Yam , Tuwo (made from powdered corn), Semovita or Amala (made from yam peels that is dried and ground).
How do you prepare your Egusi soup? We’d love to know. Drop your comments below.
Also, which of these do you prefer to accompany your Egusi soup: Akpu, Garri, Amala, Semovita,
Pounded-Yam or Tuwo? Feel free to share and,
see you next time. Gotta go chow…