Bitterleaf Egusi Soup

Bitterleaf Egusi Soup

Lumpy type Egusi Soup

I love lumpy Egusi soup. You know that type, that is chewy and almost feels like you are biting into an egg?  Yum! I have two bitter leaf plants in my garden, that have grown that have grown to tree size, and there is a pleasure I derive from going to the backyard to just pluck what I need from the garden. So Bitterleaf plus Egusi like my mum used to make.

Egusi (melon seeds)are very oil rich. One characteristic of well cooked egusi is that it gives off its oil during cooking hence the need to use minimal oil. If egusi is cooked well you’d find oil float at the top. This is a combination of the oil you added and the oil from the egusi itself and likely some fats from the meats added

Mum taught me two methods of forming lumps for my Egusi soup and I’d share them here with you


  • Egusi (Melon Seeds)
  • Washed Bitterleaf
  • Assorted Meats (Snail, Cowleg, Goat meat)
  • Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)
  • Ground crayfish
  • Pepper Mix (Scotch Bonnet + Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)
  • Onions
  • Meat Stock
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt
  • Iru (locust beans )
  • Palm oil

Preparing the Egusi Balls

Method 1
Blend your melon dry, then add one grated onion and mix till all is incorporated and the oil is beginning to seep from the egusi. Roll into little balls and set aside.

Method 2
Blend egusi with onions and a little water to a very thick smooth paste.


Heat up palm oil in a pan, add the egusi balls(you can fry the egusi balls mixed onions in method 1 above too) or scoop fulls depending on the method of blending.


Fry the egusi in the oil turning both sides. It’s almost like frying akara only it doesn’t get as fried, then turn off the heat.

Cooking the Egusi Soup

  • Boil your meats, season with bouillon cubes, onion, salt, *catfish head if you have and cook till well done.
  • Add blended pepper, some palm oil and allow to cook for roughly 10 minutes
  • Next add crayfish powder,Iru, your stock fish and other condiments like those listed in the recipe.
  • Taste for seasoning if you have used meat stock you may not have need to re-season your soup.
  • Add your washed bitter leaf and stir in.
  • Now add your fried egusi or rolled  egusi balls by dropping the balls you have rolled/fried into your pepper as it is cooking.
  • Do not cover the pot and don’t stir with a spoon, just shake the pot together – if you must stir use a wooden ladle- shake pot together and if need be add water. The balls would still hold together and you’d have lumpy Egusi. Just make the balls a little bigger. do not stir with a spoon

Serve with any swallow of your choice.

Enjoy with a cold bottle of Juice

FDVie Watermelon/Pineapple Juice

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