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Egusi Soup [Melon Seed Stew]

Prep Time:

15 minutes

Cook Time:

45 minutes





About the Recipe

Egusi soup is a spicy sauce used to eat with a range of swallows in Nigeria. The soup has three main components — the red soup base, the melon seeds, and the greens.


  • 2 cup Egusi seeds, ground

  • 14 oz jackfruit, canned in brine or water

  • 2 small tomatoes, roughly chopped

  • 1 large red onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper

  • 1 bunch spinach or kale, chopped (Okazi or Ugu or uziza or bitter leaves)

  • 4 Maggie cubes

  • 2 tsp thyme, dried

  • 2 Tbs red palm oil

  • 1-2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 tsp iru, optional

  • 2 nori sheets, ground



  1. Quarter the red onion. Dice 1/4 of the onion and set aside.

  2. Grind the egusi seeds in a small blender. Place ground egusi seeds a bowl.

  3. Add 1 cup of water to the egusi seeds and mix until a thick paste forms. Set aside.

  4. Grind nori sheets. Set aside.


  1. Rinse and drain jackfruit.

  2. Boil jackfruit for 10-15 until tender. Then, set aside.

  3. Add red palm oil to a pan with 1/4 of diced red onion and iru (if using).

  4. Add in the boiled jackfruit. Using a wooden spoon, break the jackfruit into bite-sized pieces. Cook for ~5 minutes.

  5. Prepare the pepper blend by placing the following into a high-speed blender: remaining red onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet and Maggie cubes. Blend well.

  6. Add the pepper blend and broth to the jackfruit and onions. Cook for ~5 minutes.

  7. Add spoonfuls of egusi paste and let cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Do not stir.

  8. Gently stir the soup and then add in your greens and nori. Allow greens to steam for about 3 minutes.

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