Egusi Soup Recipe

Discover the art of crafting the perfect Egusi Soup! Our easy recipe brings authentic Nigerian flavors to your kitchen. Try it now!

Egusi Soup

    Egusi Soup

  • Cuisine: Nigerian
  • Category: Soup
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 6
  • Calories: 350 calories

Egusi soup is a staple in Nigerian cuisine, celebrated for its rich flavors and cultural significance. This hearty soup revolves around egusi seeds, derived from melon plants, creating a unique and nutty base. The seeds are ground into a thick paste, forming the essence of the dish.

In the culinary journey of preparing egusi soup, assorted meats like beef, goat meat, or chicken take center stage. Boiled to tender perfection, they contribute robust flavors and textures to the soup. The use of palm oil adds a distinctive hue and a subtle, earthy undertone.

This Nigerian classic embraces a symphony of spices and seasonings, with ground crayfish, locust beans (iru), onions, and stock cubes playing pivotal roles. The soup attains its harmonious balance through a meticulous blending of these ingredients, resulting in a savory and aromatic delight.

The final touch involves the addition of vibrant green vegetables such as spinach or pumpkin leaves, imparting freshness and nutritional value. Typically served hot, egusi soup is a culinary masterpiece that not only satisfies the palate but also reflects the rich cultural tapestry of Nigerian gastronomy. It stands as a testament to the country's diverse and flavorful culinary heritage.


Dive into the vibrant world of Nigerian cuisine with our irresistible Egusi Soup recipe! Unlock the secrets to a flavorful culinary journey. Taste the essence of Nigeria!


  • 1 cup of ground egusi seeds
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach or pumpkin leaves
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons of palm oil
  • 2-3 cups of assorted meats (beef, goat meat, or chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • 1 cup of diced ponmo (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of locust beans (optional)
  • 2-3 stock cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water

Method Instructions

  1. Boil the assorted meats and ponmo with onions, stock cubes, and salt until they are tender.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the ground egusi seeds with a bit of water to form a smooth, thick paste.
  3. Heat palm oil in a pot and add the chopped onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent, then add the egusi paste. Stir continuously to avoid lumps.
  4. Pour in the broth from the boiled meats, stirring to achieve a smooth consistency. Adjust the thickness by adding water if needed.
  5. Add ground crayfish, locust beans, salt, and pepper to taste. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the egusi to cook and thicken.
  6. Add the boiled assorted meats and let it all simmer together for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  7. Finally, add the chopped spinach or pumpkin leaves. Allow them to wilt and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Your egusi soup is ready! Serve it hot with fufu, pounded yam, amala, eba, rice, or any preferred side.

Recipe Video

Egusi Soup

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Recipe Tags: Egusi Soup, Egusi Soup Recipe, Recipe


Serving egusi soup is a delightful experience that involves complementing its rich flavors with suitable accompaniments. Traditionally, egusi soup is paired with staple Nigerian dishes like fufu, pounded yam, or rice. Here's a simple guide on how to serve egusi soup:

  • Fufu: Serve a generous ladle of egusi soup alongside a mound of fufu, which can be made from cassava, yams, or plantains. The soft and stretchy texture of fufu provides an excellent contrast to the thick consistency of the soup.
  • Pounded Yam: Another popular choice is pounded yam. The smooth and elastic pounded yam serves as a perfect vehicle for sopping up the delicious egusi soup.
  • Rice: For a lighter option, you can serve egusi soup with steamed white rice. The grains absorb the flavors of the soup, creating a delightful combination.
  • Vegetables: Garnish the soup with additional fresh vegetables like chopped spinach or ugwu (fluted pumpkin leaves) just before serving. This adds a vibrant touch and enhances the nutritional value of the dish.
  • Condiments: Place condiments such as sliced onions, tomatoes, and pepper on the side for those who prefer an extra kick or crunch in their serving.


  1. Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality ingredients, especially for the assorted meats and vegetables. Freshness enhances the overall flavor of the soup.
  2. Egusi Paste Consistency: Achieve a smooth and thick consistency when making the egusi paste. This ensures a creamy and hearty texture in the final dish.
  3. Balancing Flavors: Pay attention to balancing flavors. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and stock cubes gradually to achieve the perfect taste without overpowering any element.
  4. Palm Oil Quality: Opt for good-quality palm oil as it contributes both color and flavor to the soup. If the palm oil is too strong, you can reduce the quantity slightly.
  5. Vegetable Addition: Consider incorporating a mix of spinach and ugwu (fluted pumpkin leaves) for a dynamic flavor profile and nutritional boost.
  6. Simmering Time: Allow the soup to simmer adequately after adding the assorted meats. This helps in infusing the flavors and ensures that the meats are tender.
  7. Fresh Vegetables: Add fresh vegetables towards the end of the cooking process to retain their vibrant color, flavor, and nutritional value.
  8. Consistency Adjustment: If the soup is too thick, adjust the consistency by adding more water or broth. Conversely, if it's too thin, let it simmer a bit longer to reach the desired thickness.
  9. Garnishes: Enhance the visual appeal by garnishing with finely chopped fresh herbs or additional crayfish just before serving.
  10. Enjoy with Company: Nigerian cuisine is often about communal dining. Share the egusi soup with friends and family to fully embrace the cultural experience.

Ingredient Substitutes

I will advise you to stick to the traditional ingredients provided for authentic flavor. Nevertheless, there are some potential substitutes for certain ingredients in Nigerian egusi soup if needed:

  1. Assorted Meats: If you don't have access to the traditional meats, you can use chicken, turkey, or even beef as a substitute. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
  2. Spinach/Pumpkin Leaves: If fresh spinach or pumpkin leaves are unavailable, you can use kale or other leafy greens. Frozen spinach is also a convenient substitute; just thaw and squeeze out excess water before adding.
  3. Egusi Seeds: In the absence of egusi seeds, you can try pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds as alternatives. Keep in mind that the flavor profile may differ slightly.
  4. Palm Oil: Substitute palm oil with vegetable oil if needed. However, palm oil contributes a unique flavor, so the authenticity of the dish might be affected.
  5. Ground Crayfish: If ground crayfish is not available, you can use shrimp paste or fish sauce for a similar umami kick. Adjust quantities based on your taste preferences.
  6. Fufu or Pounded Yam: If fufu or pounded yam is not accessible, consider serving egusi soup with amala, eba, rice, couscous, or another starchy side of your choice.


Embark on a savory journey with Nigerian Egusi Soup – a celebration of taste and tradition. Gather, savor, and relish the richness of this culinary masterpiece!

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