Two Authentic Methods of Cooking Egusi Soup

Two Authentic Methods of Cooking Egusi Soup

In the bustling markets, tranquil villages and modern homes across West Africa, especially Nigeria is a gem known as Egusi. For Nigerians wherever they are found, Egusi soup is a symbol of home. This traditional soup, very friendly to all the tribes of Nigeria, whether Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa warms the taste buds on which it lands. Egusi Soup is traditionally enjoyed with starchy accompaniments Swallows) like pounded yam, garri/Eba, or fufu. These sides act as the perfect vehicles to scoop up the thick, flavorful soup, creating a balance of textures and tastes that is both satisfying and comforting.



What is Egusi?

Egusi refers to the seeds of certain squash, melon, and gourd plants that are indigenous to West Africa. When ground, these seeds transform into the main ingredient of the iconic Egusi Soup. Historically, Egusi Soup has been a means of sustenance for farmers and a dish of celebration for royalty and even humble homes. Its versatility and nutritional value have made it a staple that cuts across all regional and ethnic boundaries.


Making the Perfect Egusi Soup

In this blog post, we present two elaborate methods of preparing Egusi Soup, each with its own unique burst of flavors.


1. Egusi Soup: The Frying Method

The Frying Method is perhaps the most traditional way of preparing Egusi Soup. It involves frying the ground egusi seeds in palm oil before adding other ingredients. This method is favored for its ability to create a rich and deeply flavored soup base. It is also the better option that yields lumps which so many people love to see and enjoy in their soups. But if you do not like lumps, you can also use this method to make the non-lumpy Egusi soup.


- 1 cup of ground Egusi seeds

- 1 bunch of pumpkin leaves (Ugwu), chopped

- 1kg of assorted meats (Shaki, Ponmo, etc.), pre-cooked

- 3-4 smoked fish, deboned

- 1 medium onion, diced

- Pepper mix (a blend of red bell pepper, scotch bonnet, and tomatoes)

- 1 cup of beef stock

- Palm oil

- Ground crayfish

- Locust beans (Iru)

- Seasoning cube

- Salt to taste


Directions for Lumpy Egusi Soup:

  1. Heat palm oil in a pot and add the egusi paste in small lumps.
  2. Fry the lumps until they're cooked through, then set aside.
  3. In another pot, sauté onions, add the pepper mix and locust beans, and let simmer.
  4. Add the egusi lumps to the pot, breaking them into desired sizes.
  5. Add stock, meats, smoked fish, and season to taste.
  6. Stir in the chopped pumpkin leaves and simmer briefly before serving.

Directions for Non-Lumpy Egusi Soup:

  1. Instead of forming lumps, directly fry the ground egusi in the oil until it forms a crumbly paste.
  2. Proceed with the same steps as the lumpy version, ensuring a smooth consistency.



2. Egusi Soup: The Boiling Method

The Boiling Method is a simpler, less time-consuming way to make Egusi Soup. It's ideal for those who prefer a smoother texture without the fried taste. It is also presumably healthier as use can use very little to no oil to make it. 


- Use the same ingredients as the Frying Method.


  1. In a large pot, bring the stock to a gentle boil and gradually whisk in the ground Egusi seeds.
  2. As the Egusi thickens, add the blended pepper mix, allowing the flavors to meld. Add a little palm oil or skip.
  3. Introduce the pre-cooked meats and fish, simmering to draw out their essence.
  4. Sprinkle in the crayfish and locust beans, followed by the remaining onions, for a fragrant twist.
  5. Lastly, fold in the spinach, seasoning the soup to perfection, and cook until everything is harmoniously combined.




Rounding Off

Both methods yield a sumptuous Egusi Soup, each with its own taste and flavours. Whether you prefer the richness of the Frying Method or the straightforwardness of the Boiling Method, just make sure you do you swallow foods the very good of accompanying them with a big bowl of piping hot delicious Egusi Soup. 

At My Sasun African Market, we're not just selling ingredients; we love to be part of your kitchen stories and family gatherings especially as you are far away from home. So, drop by at our stores, if you in Celina or Houston and reach for that bag of fresh Egusi seeds or that bunch of crisp spinach from our shelves for your best Egusi Soup.

You can also stop by at our website and get your best and freshest ingredients. We deliver to your doorsteps wherever you are in the US or Canda. Give us the opportunity to make your next meal not just delicious, but meaningful. Because at the end of the day, it's the genuine, home-cooked meals that stay with us, long after the plates are cleared. See you next time!

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