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Egusi soup – West Africa’s best traditional soup

October 2nd, 2023

For future plans to visit Nigeria, the must-try food on the list should be Egusi Soup, the most famous food in the country. The name may vary, such as ‘Elegushi’ or ‘Agushi’, depending on the location. Many people impressed by the Egusi Soup they tried there have spent time to make the food all around the world. This article will show you how to make Egusi Soup in detail.

What is Egusi Soup?

Egusi is the name for seeds of melons and squash planted mostly in West Africa. It is a key ingredient in many foods in Africa. The seeds are rich of protein and fat, along with essential nutrients available in West African cuisine. 

In Nigeria, the seeds are also called ‘Elegushi’ or ‘Agushi’, depending on the location. Egusi soup has ground melon seeds and other leafy vegetables. It is one of Nigeria’s most popular soups cooked by most tribes with goat, beef or fish, depending on the chef’s flavor. The soup is rich of all the vital vitamins A, B1, B2 and C.

Egusi, or seeds of melon or squash, is a key ingredient in West African foods.

Depending on which city you come from Nigeria, it also is known as Elegusi or Agushi.

Ingredients to make Egusi Soup

Egusi seeds: 2 cups (melon seeds)

Meat: Goat, beef, cow feet or fish. For this one, the author uses goat meat, while it’s up to the chef’s call.

Vegetables: Onions, tomatoes, peppers and spinach.

Palm oil: an usual ingredient, but olive oil can be used instead.

Smoked fish: makes traditional taste in Nigerian, but it can be skipped depending availability.

Plus other ingredients of choice.

Nutrition facts of egusi soup

How to cook Egusi Soup?


Step 1: Cook the goat meat and cow feet. Place them in a big bowl and add some water enough to cover them;

Step 2: Add one teaspoon of salt and black pepper and boil them for 30-40 minutes till tender;

Step 3: If a smoked catfish is used, soak it in hot water for 10 minutes;

Step 4: Break the dried catfish into smaller pieces and remove the bone to as many pieces as you can;

Step 5: Chop onions and spinach into small pieces;

Step 6: Blend tomatoes, red bell pepper and habanero pepper, add a little water;

Now the preparation is done, and we’re going to mix them all to have the Nigerian traditional egusi soup.

Ingredients for making egusi soup

Making the Egusi Soup

Step 1: Heat the palm or olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes, then add the chopped onions

Step 2: After they become translucent, add the blended tomato and pepper then mix and stir them well

Step 3: Add the smoked fish and cook it for about 10 minutes on medium heat

Step 4: Add broth or water and wait until they are boiled

Step 5: Pour the ground Egusi melons seeds into a bowl, add a sprinkling of water and make them into ball form

Step 6: Add the Egusi melons seeds to the soup and stir them

Step 7: Bring them to a boil and let the mix cook for 5 more minutes

Step 8: Add goat meat, cow feet, crayfish, bouillon, and cayenne pepper

Step 9: Taste them and add some salt or pepper if needed

Step 10: Let them boil on medium-high heat for more 10 minutes

Step 11: Add spinach and leave on low heat for the last 5 minutes

Step 12: Finally, serve with your choice of flavor and enjoy the Egusi Soup!

A bowl of Egusi soup

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