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.
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)
Boil your meats and save the stock.
While your meats cook, wash and shred your Vegetable, Efo Tete and leave in a seive or wire mesh to strain. Do not blanch
Lightly toast your egusi and uziza seeds, this would release the oils.
In the dry mill of your blender, blend the egusi and uziza seeds to paste
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
and add your onions , allow to fry for 3 minutes, next pour your pepper mix -the third onion goes into the pepper mix.
Now put in your Uyayak, for this quantity you need just a little of the Uyayak
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
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
*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.