Egusi Soup

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The Nigerian Egusi soup, prepared with melon seed, is prepared by most tribes in Nigeria in many different ways. It is known as Miyan Gushi in Hausa, Ofe Egusi in Igbo, and Efo Elegusi in Yoruba.

This soup is also one of the most popular soups, if not the most popular for all Nigerians and even West Africa, perfectly paired with pounded yam or fufu, one of the greatest combo that would want you asking for more.

Uziza Egusi Soup
Uziza Egusi Soup

What Is Egusi Soup Made Of?

Ground egusi (melon seeds) is the main ingredient. Other ingredients include red palm oil, African crayfish, meats and fish, seasoning, hot pepper and some form of leafy greens.

Egusi Seeds

Egusi is made from melon seeds that grow primarily in the warm regions of Africa. It is composed of about 50% healthy fats and 30% protein, which makes it perfect for a low-carb or keto diet.

How Do You Blend Egusi Seeds?

Egusi seeds are usually blended before cooking and this can be easily done using a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder.

You do not add water when blending, it’s blended in the dry form but as you blend you will notice the consistency changes to a somewhat powdery paste. You can buy the actual seeds or buy them pre-ground.

Is Nigerian Egusi Soup Healthy?

Yes, it is. Egusi is made from melon seeds that grow primarily in the warm regions of Africa. It is composed of about 50% healthy fats and 30% protein, which makes it perfect for a low-carb or keto diet. Egusi seeds are also packed full of healthy nutrients like Vitamins A, B1, B2, and C.

Is Egusi Soup Good For Weight Loss?

Egusi soup is another delicacy that you can enjoy on a keto diet. Made primarily from melon seeds in Africa, this soup is delicious and nutritious.

How To Cook Egusi Soup

This soup can be cooked in different methods. The recipe found on this page is what I call the caking/lumpy method of cooking Egusi Soup.

Boiling Method

The grounded egusi is molded into balls and cooked in the soup such that you will be eating the egusi balls like meat while enjoying the meal. The surrounding egusi in the soup is prepared using the caking method.

Frying Method

The Egusi is fried in palm oil before other ingredients are added. I also call this one the Oil Before Egusi Method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Cook Egusi Without Vegetables?

Yes, you can. This method is called Egusi Ijebu. Egusi Ijebu Soup is a soup associated with the people of Ogun state in Nigeria, Ijebu to be precise.

It is cooked with melon seeds (egusi) without vegetables being added to it. You need to toast the melon seed before blending but if you have ground melon it’s okay just mix with stock or water.

What Vegetable Leaf Can I Add To Egusi Soup

I used baby spinach to cook this egusi soup but other varieties of green vegetable leaf can be added as well;

  • Pumpkin leaves also called ugwu
  • Uziza leaves
  • Efo Igbo
  • Bitter leaves
  • Waterleaf (called obe gbure in Yoruba)

Can I Make Egusi Soup Without Oil?

Yes, you can, just skip the step where you add palm oil.

Which Type Of Oil is The Best For This Soup?

I would say palm oil. I am yet to come across anyone who cooks the soup with vegetable oil.

What To Serve With Egusi Soup

Serve and enjoy with any Nigerian swallow of choice, you can even serve over white rice. Some swallow to serve with include;

  1. Garri (Eba)
  2. Semolina
  3. Amala
  4. Fufu
  5. Pounded Yam
  6.  Tuwo

Cooking Notes & Tips

  • Feel free to add as many leafy greens as you want. You can also add less.
  • Don’t add salt until you are done adding all the spices. You might not need to add more because of the broth.
  • Add beef, chicken or fish to the soup.
  • Smoked fish can be used to substitute stocked fish used in this recipe.


Efo riro

Okra Soup

Afang Soup

Ofe Nsala

Finally, if you make this egusi soup, I’ll recommend it with pounded yam. Don’t forget to leave a comment below.

image of egusi soup

Egusi Soup

Easy Nigerian Egusi soup in easy steps it is very delicious too.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian


  • Ingredient
  • 600g Egusi (Melon) seeds
  • 2 Cooking spoons red palm oil
  • Beef: Best cut and shaki (cow tripe)
  • Fish: Dry Fish and Stock Fish
  • 3 tbsp Ground crayfish
  • Pepper and Salt (to taste)
  • Vegetable: Nigerian pumpkin leaves, spinach
  • 3 Small stock cubes
  • Ogiri Okpei (traditional locust bean seasoning: optional)


Before Preparation (Caking Method)

  • Before preparing the soup, soak the dry fish for about half an hour.
  • If you are using the very tough stockfish, boil it for 20 minutes and leave in the pot with the hot water to soak for about an hour.
  • If using the softer stockfish, you can just soak them in cool water till you can break them apart with your hands.
  • When the fish and stockfish are soft, debone and break them into sizeable chunks.
  • Much closer to your cooking time, grind the egusi with a dry mill.
  • Grind the crayfish and the dry pepper separately and set aside.
  • Wash the vegetable to be used. Cut into tiny pieces.
  • Boil the shaki, stock fish and dry fish in 1 litre of water with the stock cubes till they are well done.
  • First sign of a done shaki is that the cuts will start curling on itself.
  • Wash the beef to be used for the soup, add it to the pot and cook on medium heat till done.


  • This method produces a healthier egusi soup as there is no frying involved. It requires less oil too.
  • In this method, as soon as the shaki, fish and meat are done, remove them from the stock (water used in cooking the meat and fish) and place in a different pot or plate.
  • Add the ground egusi to the stock and stir.
  • If the stock from cooking your meat and fish is not enough to give you a medium consistency, add some water to get the consistency of evaporated milk or a bit thicker. It will not be as smooth as evaporated milk though.
  • Cover and cook till the egusi cakes.
  • Stir and add a little bit more water. watch it closely so that it does not burn.
  • Repeat step 3, adding only a small quantity of water at a time.
  • After about 25 minutes, you will notice the clear egusi oil coming to the surface of the soup.
  • Add the red palm oil and pepper to taste and cook for about 7 minutes.
  • You know it is good to continue when the palm oil and egusi forms a good blend of light yellow colour.
  • Add the cooked meat and fish. If using pumpkin leaves or any other soft vegetable, add it at this time and stir the soup.
  • Add salt to your taste, stir and leave to simmer for 2 minutes maximum. Turn off the heat.
  • Leave to stand for about 5 minutes before serving.
Keyword Egusi, egusi soup, how to cook egusi
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