Egusi elefo with a southeastern flair

Sometime ago I tried my hands on a delicacy of the Urhobo people, Ovwovwo Soup. I had it with Starch and I liked it. When I was going to make Egusi (Melon Seeds)Soup for Sunday lunch with pounded yam I remembered Ovwovwo and I pulled out my Uyayak ( Aidan Pods).

This is my Egusi yoruba egusi spotting south eastern ingredients.

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Recipe
2 Cups Peeled Egusi seeds
1 tbsp Uziza seeds
5 cups shredded Efo Tete  (It’s also called Efo green)
1 tsp Ogiri
Uyayak (Aidan Pods)
2 cups roughly blended pepper mix (tomatoes, tatashe aka bell pepper ,rodo aka scotch bonnet /habenero, onion)
3 medium sized onions
1 cooking spoon Palm oil
Assorted Meats and Fish
2 tbsp Cameroon pepper
2 tbsp ground crayfish
2 Bouillon Cubes
Salt (to taste)

Procedure
Boil your meats and save the stock.

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While your meats cook, wash and shred your Vegetable,  Efo Tete and leave in a seive or wire mesh to strain. Do not blanch

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Lightly toast your egusi and uziza seeds, this would release the oils.

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In the dry mill of your blender,  blend the egusi and uziza seeds to paste

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Blend one onion and mix with the egusi and set aside. Chop one onion into small bits.

Heat up your palm oil to smoke point

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and add your onions , allow to fry for 3 minutes, next  pour your pepper mix -the third onion goes into the pepper mix.

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Now put in your Uyayak, for this quantity you need just a little of the Uyayak

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Add your meat stock if you have some at this point, taste and add more seasoning (i.e salt and bouillon cubes)if necessary , if you don’t have meat stock, season at this point,  add powdered crayfish, cameroon pepper, ogiri -dissolve the ogiri first -. Add your assorted meats and fish

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Taste to see if the pepper is cooked.

Once the pepper is done , add the blended egusi and uziza, you can add it in lumps or sprinkle it. You may notice that the egusi soaks up all the fluid , add some more water, cook for about (with or without lid on)15 mins then add the vegetables. Cook vegetables for 5 minutes or less on low heat, so as not to over cook the vegetables.

*Turn off the heat and please don’t cover the pot completely with the lid so that some the steam can escape and the so the egusi doesn’t turn sour quickly

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*If palm oil is not your cup of tea, please ensure to cook your with little or no oil. Egusi is already a very oily seed.
But I always tell people that a proof of well cooked egusi is that it gives off its oil.

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