Egusi is a very popular soup in Nigeria, it made by most tribes in their own different ways. It is derived from Melon Seeds. Egusi is traditionally paired with swallows such as, Eba, Pounded Yam, Semo, Amala, Fufu and the list goes on. Some people even have Egusi with White Rice (One of the many ways iI like to enjoy my Egusi Soup).
The use of Vegetable in this soup is very common and it goes a long way in giving the soup a great flavor and extra nutrition. You can add a little or a lot, it really depends on personal preference. Some Vegetables that can be used are Ugwu, Spinach, Kale, Uziza, Efirin, Bitter Leaf, Okazi and quite a lot of other leafy greens. I used Ugwu Leaves for this recipe and a little Uziza to give it some oomph and boy did it! The delicate heat in the half cup of leaves i used was the perfect quantity for that extra depth of flavour.
This lumpy style of making Egusi Soup is common among the Yorubas in the South West of Nigeria. This method sets this soup apart from the other ways of making the soup because of the texture the lumps give to the soup and of course even more visually appealing in my opinion.
I have three different methods of making Egusi Soup, but i will be sharing this Lumpy Egusi recipe with you today.
11/2 Ground Melon Seeds (dry)
300g Oxtail (Skinless)
1 Cup Beef Broth
3/4 Cup Palm Oil
11/2 Cups Ugwu Leaves
1/2 Cup Uziza Leaves
2 Medium Onions
3 Large Tomatoes
2 Medium Tatase
3 Small Fresh Pepper (Habanero, Scotch Bonnet)
2 Tbsp Iru (Locust Beans)
3 Tbsp Ground Crayfish
3 Stock Cubes
1 Tsp Salt
1. Pour the Palm Oil in a pot.
2. Blend Tomatoes, Tatase and Fresh Peppers to form a coarse texture.
3. Pour Pepper mix (Tomatoes, Tatase and fresh Pepper- coarsely blended) into the heated Palm Oil.
4. Add in Iru (Locust Beans)
5. Blend some Onions in very little water.
6. Use this blended Onions to mix the Ground Melon Seeds to form a thick paste.
7. Using a spoon, scoop Egusi paste into the cooking pepper mix (DO NOT STIR).
8. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
9. Add all seasonings, taste and adjust accordingly.
10. Add the Oxtail to the soup
11. Add in Ugwu leaves and Uziza leaves, stir gently to avoid breaking the lumps.
12. Cover for 5 minutes to allow the flavor from the leaves to be incorporated with the Egusi and to cook leaves briefly.
13. Turn off heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. You can serve your Egusi Soup with any swallow of your choice and also Boiled Rice.