Recipe for Egusi Soup

Egusi soup which is also known as melon soup is a very tasty delicacy that is common in Nigeria, especially in the southern part. It is a spicy thick soup that can be prepared with vegetables, fish and meat. If you are new to Nigerian foods or just want to try a new food this article is a sure guide for you.


Servings: 6

Cook time: 1-2 hours

Egusi Soup




  • Grounded Egusi seeds (1-2 cups)
  • Palm oil- 1 cup
  • Bitter leaf(if bitter leaf isn’t available, you can use spinach or any other edible leaf)
  • African red onions- 1-2 (chopped)
  • Meat- goat, chicken or any other (chopped to size)
  • Cray fish- ¼-1/2 cup
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Cooking salt
  • Stock fish or dried fish
  • Chilli pepper, can be fresh or dried


Note: Egusi and all the other ingredients can be obtained from African food shops.


Cooking Method


  1. If you are using stock fish, ensure you soak the stock fish in water overnight to make it soft and cook faster.
  2. Cook your assorted meat or goat meat in a pot for about 30 minutes until it is soft and tender to taste. Before you start cooking, add cooking salt, 1 bulb of sliced onion,  ½ teaspoonful of thyme, a teaspoonful of curry powder, one or two maggi cubes, and small amount of water (about 2cups).
  3. While that is cooking, blend your chopped tomatoes together with fresh or dried pepper and  1 bulb of real African red onions to form a smooth paste. 
  4. If you bought egusi seeds, this is the time to blend them using a blender dried(in the small bit of the blender for dried materials). Put 1-2 cups of grounded egusi in a bowl, add water bit by bit to the  grounded egusi in the bowl and stir to form a paste. Another option other than making the egusi paste is to stir fry it in palm oil. Either way works, but if this is your first time I recommend you use the first method. 
  5. At this point your meat, tomato paste and egusi paste should be ready.  Place a big pot  on the cooker and allowing all residue of water drying out. Be careful not burn the pot. Pour about 150 – 300mls of red palm oil in the pot and allow it to heat for about a minute. Be very cautious here, so you don't get burned!Pour the blended tomatoes,  onion paste into the oil, fresh/dried pepper and stir fry for about 10 -15 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked meat to the pot and cover the pot and allow simmering for about 3 minutes. Stir regularly to prevent burning.
  7. Now add the fried or egusi paste to the pot with meat in it. Add your vegetables here, salt and one or two seasoning cubes if still required to taste and bring to boil for about 10 minutes. Stir regularly.

Egusi soup can be served with pounded yam, eba which is made from garrri, ground rice or semolina.