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Egusi Soup

Egusi is a melon seed that has been dried and ground into a powdery form. When cooked it feels like a thick paste and it taste delicious. One of the most popular dishes in West Africa is Egusi soup. Each region and tribe has its own version of the dish. This recipe for Egusi soup is most popular among the Ibos in Nigeria


Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 35 minutes

Serves : 4



  • 1 cooking spoon of red palm oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 250g of Egusi (melon seeds)
  • 4 cups of water or beef stock    
  • 50g of stock fish
  • 100g of smoked or dried fish
  • 2 teaspoons of ground crayfish (or ground dried prawns)
  • 2 Seasoning cubes
  • 1 bunch of Ugu, or wild spinach
  • 2 teaspoons of ground dried pepper
  • 1 medium scotch bonnet pepper, chopped or blended
  • Salt to taste
  • One mould locust bean (Dawa Dawa) or Iru (Optional)


  1. Pour the palm oil into a large pot and allow it to heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the finely chopped red onion to the pan and fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the Egusi, and fry until it has dried out.
  4. Lower the heat and gently stir the mixture, while gradually adding water.
  5. Keep stirring the Egusi mixture until all of the liquid has been added and has formed a soft paste.
  6. Now allow the mixture to fry for 20 minutes.
  7. Add water or beef stock until you achieve the right consistency
  8. Add the stockfish, the smoked fish, crayfish and seasoning cubes into the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and optionally add Dawa Dawa or locust bean.
  9. Allow the mixture to cook on a high heat for 10 minutes.
  10. Stir in the Ugu thoroughly and immediately bring down the heat.
  11. Serve while still hot, accompanied by Fufu or Pounded yam


  • Ensure the Egusi is thoroughly ground and fried until it is dry.
  • Use a little heat when frying.

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