Egusi or melon (gourds family also known as melon) soup is a very popular and widely known soup in Africa especially in West Africa to be precise.
This recipe is a rich source of protein, vitamins and oil. It takes about an hour to cook. Egusi is in the gourd family, and even though it looks like water melon, it isn’t. Contrary to watermelon which is sweet, egusi is characterized by it dry and bitter flesh that produces an edible nourishing seed which is not bitter. The seed produced by this melon is shelled and grounded (pulverized) to make the wonderful recipe I describe below in this article.
Some mothers cook or fry this seed and blend to form paste after which they add sugar or honey which they feed their little ones. When fried, the seed of this specie of melon tastes almost like peanut (groundnut)
200g of egusi (blended)
300g or ¾ poundof stock fish
200g or ½ lb chicken (optional)
1 lb beef
1 lb smoked turkey
200g (fish) crocker, tilapia, mackeral (optional)
4 full table spoons of crayfish
Seasoning (knorr or maggi)
Bitterleaf (250 ml cupsize) or spinach (2 pounds)
1 ½ cup or 375 mls of palm oil
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper (1 habanero or 1 teaspoon of chili pepper)
1 medium sized onion bulb (chopped)
NOTE: You can use any meat, chicken, turkey, chicken gizzard or fish of your own choice. You can also make combination of all these source.
First, be sure to wash the stock fish (cod fish) add water and cook for 1 hour; to reduce the cooking time, soak in water and keep in the refrigerator overnight, doing this, will reduce the cooking time to 18-20 minutes.
Wash beef, chicken or turkey chunks and gizzard and transfer into a pot, season, add chili, diced onion, and salt, then cook for 15 minutes on low to medium heat.
While cooking your meat for about 15 minutes, add your already cooked stock (cod) fish, already cut-into-chunk crocker fish, palm oil, cray fish and add more seasonings, mix, cover; then cook for another 5 minutes.
Note: If you don’t like the taste or aroma of the palm oil you’re using, you can lightly fry it will onion to give it a very nice aroma you will like.
During the 5 minutes period,
Pour your blended egusi (melon) seed in a small deep bowl, scoop some soup from your boiling meet mixture (I mean the meat stock) into the egusi in the small bowl, you can use your cooking spoon to do this, add the meat stock bit by bit and mix while doing this until it formed a thick paste.
Now get a teaspoon and add the melon paste bit by bit into the cooking mixture.
Then cover and allow to cook for 8 to 12 minutes.
Add you your leave, (I usually use small quantity of about 150g bitter leaf or 340 grams spinach) for this recipe.
Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes you don’t want your spinach to be too done, so once you add your leaf, I advise to lower your gas to the barest minimum.
And that’s it! Congratulation, you now have your delicious egusi soup.
You can eat it with rice, semolina, fufu, garri (cassava flakes) and even poundo yam balls.