Egusi Soup

Yesterday i got my favorite type of fufu, from Oja Odan in Ogun state. So i ditched the traditional Sunday Pounded yam or Fried rice and we had fufu instead, and egusi of cause to go with it.

Recipe

  • 2 cups Egusi (Melon Seeds)
  • Assorted Meats (Cowleg, Goat meat, ponmo, offals)
  • Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)
  • Smoked Fish
  • Ground crayfish
  • 2 cups Thinly sliced Ugu leaves
  • Peppers (4 Scotch Bonnet + 5 Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)
  • 1 Onion
  • Meat Stock (from cooking the meats)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Iru (locust beans)
  • 2 cooking spoons Palm oil

Procedure

This is one of the methods i use in preparing egusi.

  • Cook your meats, season with bouillon cubes, salt, ( i like to cook with smoked catfish head for a richer flavour). Cook till tender and well done.
  • While cooking your meats, Rinse your Ugu leaves to get rid of dirt, then slice thinly.Blend your melon seeds with pepper, onion and water. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat up your palm oil till it reaches smoking point, pour in your blended melon and fry for about 10 mins, don’t let it burn.
  • Now add the rich stock from your meats and allow to cook till the fried melon paste and the stock are well incorporated.
  • Next add crayfish powder,Iru. Taste for seasoning, may not have need to re-season your soup, if your stock is rich in flavour.
  • Cook with lid off to allow the water to reduce faster in the soup.
  • Once the water content has reduced to at least a quarter of what it initially was, add your assorted meats stock fish and other condiments like those listed in the recipe.
  • Cook till the water has reduced completely and the soup won’t run off the back of the soup in a watery manner.
  • Now add your Vegetable, and stir in gently with a ladle. Reduce the heat to the minimum and turn it off after cooking with the vegetables for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with any swallow of your choice.

Egusi Soup; With a burst of flavours.

A picture they say, says a thousands words, unfortunately it does not express the fragrance or taste. If it did, you’d know how I feel about this plate of Egusi Soup. It tastes and smells good to the last drop!

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I wish we explored our local spices and flavours a little more then we would give up the excessive salt and MSG  we put in our food. I made this Egusi without palm oil, however,  I replaced palm oil with Palm nut cream, I used a generous about of Ehu ( Calabash Nutmeg), Ogiri and Uziza leaves.

Recipe

Ingredients

•    2 cups blended Egusi (Melon Seeds)

•    Assorted Meats (Snail, Cowleg, Goat meat)

•    Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)

•   1 tbsp Ground crayfish

•    3 cups shredded Ugu  (flute pumpkin leaves)

•    1 Cup Shredded Uziza leaves

•    2 1/2 Cups Blended Pepper Mix (Tomatoes + Scotch Bonnet + Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)

•    1 Large Onion

•   3 Umilo/Ulima Seed (blended with a dry mill or coffee blender,  in the absence of those pound it in a mortar

• 1 Ehu Seed (blend with the Ulima)

•    Meat Stock

•    2 Bouillon cubes

•    Salt to taste

•    1 wrap Ogiri

•    1  cup of concentrated Palm nut cream. If you’d be making yours use about 500g of  Palm nuts (Banga/Akwu). That should yield about 3 cups of palm nut extract.

Procedure

–   Wash, season with salt and bouillon cubes your assorted meats, cook with onion till tender, add assorted fish if using any and add blended pepper, cook till the pepper doesn’t taste raw.

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–    Add blended Ehu and Ulima seeds, crayfish and Ogiri. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

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–   Add your blended Egusi into the soup, it would soak up all the water.  Dilute the palm nut concentrate if you are using the tinned type and add to the egusi in the pot.  Stir till all is incorporated. At this point taste if it requires additional seasoning with salt or bouillon cubes. Adjust to your taste buds, do not over power.

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–      Allow the egusi to cook for 10 mins, then  stir in the two washed and shredded vegetables. Once the vegetables have gone in cook only for an additional 5 minutes, with the lid off, so as not to over cook and to let excess water escape. The heat of the soup is enough to finish it off after that. Serve with your choice of side dish.

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