- Ground Egusi1 CupsGround African Melon Seeds
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper6 PiecesLocally called ata rodo
- Red Chilli Pepper4 PiecesLocally called shombo
- Tomato1 Pieces
- Pumpkin Leaves2 1/2 Cupsor more. Locally called ugwu. Washed and chopped
- Onion2 Pieces
- Chilli Powder1 TeaspoonsGround pepper
- Ground Crayfish2 1/2 Tablespoons
- Palm Oil1/2 CupsAbout 2 cooking spoons. You can increase to 1 cup (about 4 cooking spoons) if you want more palm oil in yours. The more palm oil there is, the richer the colour of the soup
- MeatAny QuantityI used Tripe (Shaki) and Cow hide (Ponmo)
- StockfishAny Quantity
- Dried ShrimpAny QuantityLocally called oporo
- Meat Stock2 1/2 CupsOr more. Use as required
- Salt And Maggi CubeTo taste
- Locust Bean2 Heaped TeaspoonsLocally called iru
There are quite a few methods of cooking egusi soup. Some methods cook with tomato and peppers, some do without. In some methods, the egusi is fried first, some cook with vegetables including ugwu and bitter leaf and there is the oil free version of egusi soup. This egusi soup recipe is made with tomato and peppers which is first fried in palm oil, before adding the egusi and cooking the soup.
Step 1. Wash the meat thoroughly, put it in a pot,add water, season with salt and Maggi cube to taste, a little onions, garlic powder and ground pepper. Boil the meat until tender. Once it is almost tender, add in the stockfish and cook everything until the meat is tender.
**Make sure the stock is tasty. Tasty stock equals tasty soup and the stock makes the soup, so make sure the stock is very tasty with enough salt and seasoning cube added. Also, make sure you have enough stock left in the pot after the meat is cooked.
Step 2. While the meat is cooking, blend half of the onions (no water added when blending), add it to the ground egusi, add chilli powder and 1 tablespoon of crayfish. Mix all together until it forms a paste and set aside.
Step 3. Rough blend the tomato, peppers and the remaining onions together. You can also finely chop a small onion (to yield about 2 tablespoons of finely chopped onions) but this is optional. Set aside.
Step 4. Add palm oil to a pot, heat up, add in the chopped onions, let it fry for about 3 minutes(don’t do this on high heat so it won’t burn), add in the locust bean, let it fry for about 3 minutes so the locust bean will release its flavours, then add in another tablespoon of ground crayfish. Fry for a few seconds so it doesn’t start burning.
***If you didn’t chop any onion, just heat up the palm oil, add in the locust bean and let it fry for about 4 minutes then add the crayfish and let it fry for about 1 minute.
Step 5. Add in the blended pepper puree. Let it simmer for about 2 minutes then season with salt and Maggi seasoning cube to taste.
Step 6. Let it cook for about 5 minutes then add in the dried shrimps. Stir, taste for salt and let it cook until the sauce is done. This should take about 5 minutes. You’ll know it is done when the palm oil floats to the surface and the pepper doesn’t taste raw.
***The liquid in the pot may dry up, add in a little stock (in cooking spoons full) if you see this happening.
Step 7. After the pepper sauce is done, add in enough meat stock to cook the soup, add the meat, fish and the remaining ground crayfish.
***If you have a lot of meat and fish, don’t add it in now, just add the stock and ground crayfish and proceed to step 8
Step 8. Stir, taste for salt and let it cook for about 3 minutes, then add the egusi paste.
Step 9. Stir continuously for about a minute, then cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.
***The soup will thicken as you cook along, so make sure you stir frequently and check up on the quantity of liquid in the pot so the egusi doesn’t burn. Add more stock if required. You can add your meat and fish sometime in between the cook time if you didn’t add it in earlier.
Step 10. Add the ugwu leaves, stir, and let it cook for about 3 minutes. It is best the vegetable retains its crunch so don’t over cook it.
Done. Switch off the burner, let the soup sit on the burner for another 3 to 5 minutes. Your Egusi Soup is ready.
Serve with any swallow of choice. I served my Egusi soup with Eba. See second picture above 🙂