Nigerian Recipe for Traditional Egusi Soup


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Staple foods in the Nigerian diet include: peanuts or ground-nuts, yams, cassava, fish, rice, okra, bananas, guinea corn and millet, and palm nuts.

They are usually starchy and Nigerians love to cook with a lot of pepper and spices especially those from the southwest and southeast. This recipe uses all local ingredients to create a tasty and nourishing meal.

Ground Egusi seeds give this soup a unique color and flavor. If you can't find Egusi seeds in your store, you can substitute pumpkin seeds or Pepitas which you can find in Latin American grocery stores. This soup is thickened with flour ground from seeds of gourds, melons, pumpkins, and squashes, many of which are native to Africa.

Egusi Soup

200 g Water Leaves
50 g Egusi seeds
1 teaspoon Dry Ground Red Pepper
1 medium Onion
100ml Palm Oil
10g Dry Ground Crayfish
120g Fresh Tomatoes
100ml Water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Wash the water leaves well in clean, fresh water. Liquidise or pulverise the onions, tomatoes and egusi seeds until smooth. Add the dry ground pepper and fry in palm oil for five minutes. Add the water, put the lid on and cook for five minutes. Now add the water leaves, replace lid and cook for a further five minutes. Finally, add the crayfish and seasoning, warming through well.

Serve with pounded yam or cooked rice and a meat stew, to provide protein. Alternatively, serve with eba, fufu or any suitable carbohydrate.

With thanks to the people of Nigeria who made us welcome and instilled in us a love of traditional Nigerian food.

For further tips and ideas for cooking great and traditional food from around the world, visit Nigerian Recipes & Food .

This article was submitted by Jen Carter, owner of the World Food & Recipes website.


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