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Egusi (melon) Soup with Ugu

Happy new month everyone! Can't believe June is here already. To start the new month we'd be making something very common in most Nigerian households and that is egusi soup with ugu leaves. Egusi with ugu leaves is one of my favorite Nigerian soups and also the most common too. This is probably due to the fact that most tribes in Nigeria have it on their menu although the methods of preparation may vary slightly. i'm a huge fan of ugu leaves because of the healthy nutrients it contains. click here for ugu juice + benefits
Egusi (melon) seeds contain lots of oil in it so it's advisable to use palm oil sparingly when preparing it. To brighten the color of the egusi soup, you could use tomapep puree which is a mixture of tomatoes and a blend of peppers to get the desired look and flavor.
It could also be prepared with different leaves such as uziza leaf, Onugbu "Bitter leaf, Afang "Wild spinach", water leaf e.t.c View full list of Nigerian leafy vegetables here - A different leaf means a different flavor. I think the two common various for me would be to cook it with washed bitter leaves or Ugu leaves.

How to make Egusi soup with Ugu leaves
• Prep Time:  
30 minutes
• Total Time: Over 45 minutes
• Misc :          Serve hot with "swallow", Boiled white rice or yam

• 2 Cups Melon Seeds "Egusi"
• 600g Red beef
• 1 medium sized Stock fish
• 2 Medium Smoked fish 
• 1/2 Cooking spoon Cray fish
•2 plum Tomatoes 
• 5 chili pepper "Shombo" 
• 3 red scotch bonnet pepper "Ata rodo" 
• 1½ Cup palm oil 
• 1 bunch Pumpkin leaves 
• 3 Seasoning cubes 
• Salt to taste

Step 1: The first step is to peel the egusi by removing the white Egusi seeds from the brown shell. Place the peeled Egusi in a dry mill (The smaller grinder that comes with the Cup blender) and grind till smooth. It might start to cake up but never mind, that's not a problem.

Step 2: Wash the pumpkin leaves (Ugu) with salt water to kill the germs and rinse with clean water. Chop the leaves and set aside

Step 3: Wash the Tomato, chili pepper and scotch bonnet. Blend into a puree - Set aside. Click here to view steps on how to make pepper puree

Step 4:
For the Stock, you could use any type of meat or fish you choose to. For this particular recipe, i used a mixture of Stock fish, Smoked fish & Beef. Wash the Beef, Stock fish and Smoked fish (remove the bone). Place the beef in an empty pot, add the crushed seasoning cubes and just enough water to cover the content of the pot. Cook on medium heat for about 25 minutes. Add the salt, washed stock fish and smoked fish, Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off the burner and set aside.

Step 5:
In an empty pot, pour in the palm oil and ground Egusi. On medium heat, stir fry for about 3 minutes till it starts to dry up but don't let it burn. if you like your egusi soup a little bit lumpy, skip frying as shown in this step. Instead, add the ground egusi into the stock and cover the pot(don't add the palmoil)- don't stir. Leave it too cook till the egusi absorbs most of the stock in the pot, swells and cakes up. After this , you can add the palm oil and other ingredients before moving to step 7.

Step 6: Pour in the meat & fish stock in step 4 above, add the pepper & tomato puree including the ground crayfish - Stir and cover the pot. Leave to cook for about 15 minutes till the Egusi swells and cakes up a little. By this time, the oil would have settled on top.

Step 7: Add the chopped ugu leaves, stir and cover the pot. Leave to simmer for 5-7 minutes before turning off the burner. Serve with your favorite "swallow",Boiled white rice or Yam

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  1. UBADIRE ASHIEGBU4/18/2012 7:34 am

    Chai i wish i could turn merline, i would have done some magic to pull this food out. I want to eat o

  2. Wow. Do you cook all these dishes yourself? Yum-my!

  3. i have got a lot of inspiration to cook some of these dishes differently. I appreciate you and I always visit you blog when conflicted on what to cook or how to cook.

    You make it so easy.

    Kudos and much blessings to your effort

    1. Thanks for the feedback Mary. i truly appreciate :)

  4. Hi Dobby,

    Thanks for this. So I made my Egusi soup like so but it turned out having a dark colour(Like Ogbono soup) rather than the usual yellowish color its supposed to have... Any Idea why :( Did I overfry or is the Egusi bad...Cant understand

    1. it's either you Over-fried it and it got burnt or the Egusi was bad. ClickHERE to see pictures on how to get it right.

    2. Also, Check the Palm oil used to make sure it's not spoilt.

    3. It could also be as a result of over cooking the pumpkin leaves

    4. Seconded!

  5. Just like mama used to make it back home. Ty Dobby!

  6. Just finished cooking ds delicacy, and I can tell u, it's delicious... chai... thanx dobby.. u don dey make ma girlfriend envy my cooking

    1. Awww!!! Thanks for the feedback Banji. Please don't make your girlfriend jealous o! :)

  7. Parthenonindy Restaurant6/23/2015 6:03 am

    very nice and recipe looking so delicious and yummy. i will try tis soon,. thanks for sharing this recipe.

    Parthenonindy Restaurant

  8. Am excited I found this site.I believe cooking is an art and you have proved it.Thank you so much for the new recipes you have added to me


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