Nigerian Egusi Soup - Obe Efo elegusi : How to cook Egusi Soup

Egusi Soup ,  Obe Efo elegusi  How to cook Egusi Soup
Nigerian Egusi Soup with Vegetables (Melon seed soup)

Egusi Soup With Fresh Fish &Vegetables

Egusi soup ,also known as Obe Efo elegusi/ Ofe Egusi, is a delicious Nigerian soup that is made with ground melon seeds and enriched with assorted meat, fish and spices. It is actually one of the most popular Nigerian soups used for eating bolus meals such as Pounded Yams, Eba, fufu and wheat meal
It is also popular in other parts of west Africa and the cooking methods differs from place to place.

The common variations for cooking Egusi Soup include:
Variation 1: Egusi soup cooked with vegetables(either spinach/ugu, bitter leaves or a combination of both.
Variation 2: Egusi soup cooked without vegetables
Variation 3: Frying the ground egusi seeds before adding the palm oil and condiments
Variation 4: Boiling the assorted meat and fish, then adding the ground egusi seeds,with or without vegetables

I always urge my friends to try out the different variations (if they can), and they'll realize that the cooking methods are simply a matter of preference. All that really matters is getting it right and making sure that the ground egusi seeds are properly cooked/fried,to get the raw taste out.

This is one of the ways I prepare mine and hope you enjoy. If you love videos, here's a video on How to Cook Egusi Soup with vegetables and fresh fish

Ingredients for Egusi Soup
* 1 cup ground Egusi/melon seeds
* 500g assorted meat of choice (tripe/shaki,beef, chicken, cow's skin/ponmo)
* 200g assorted fish (stock fish, dried fish)
* 150 g Fresh fish ( 1 medium sized mackerel fish will do)
* 750g Spinach leaves/Ugu/collard greens
* 1 medium sized onion bulb.
* 1/2 cup palm oil (2 cooking-spoonful)
* 1 teaspoonful ground chili pepper/fresh scotch bonnet(atarodo)
* 1 teaspoonful ground Crayfish
* 2 bouillon/stock cubes (seasoning cubes)
* Salt to taste

Cooking Method

**Grind the egusi seeds until smooth.Place in a bowl and dissolve with a little lukewarm water to form a paste.
 Dissolving the egusi is optional, but it helps to reduce burning when frying in the oil.

** Slice the vegetables and set aside

** Wash and season the assorted meat and fish with sliced onions, one stock cube(and any other meat seasoning of choice) and salt to taste. Cook until tender and set aside. Reserve the meat stock.

Now to cook the Soup

* Heat up the oil in a pot until hot. Add the dissolved Egusi paste and fry, stirring constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Fry for about 15  to 20 minutes or when you notice the oil rise to the top of the egusi.

* Add the meat stock, mix thoroughly and leave to boil for 10 minutes.

* Add the ground pepper, crayfish, stock cube and the cooked assorted meat & fish and cook for 10 minutes.

* Next, add the fresh fish and cook until the fish is done.

* Then, add the sliced vegetables and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and the soup is ready.

Egusi Soup can also be used as a sauce for boiled rice and mostly enjoyed with semolina, amala, tuwo masara, fufu , pounded yam, and several other bolus meals.


Here's how to prepare Egusi soup  with bitter leaves

Other Related Recipes

* Bitter leaf Soup (Ofe Onugbu) 
* Nigerian Beef Stew
* Banga Soup : Urhobo Isoko Banga Soup Recipe
* Nigerian Chicken Stew
* How to Cook Okazi Soup (Ukazi Soup)
* Obe Ata Dindin : Nigerian Fried Pepper Stew
* How to Cook Edikang Ikong Soup 
* Nigerian Tomato Stew(Vegan Stew)
* How to Cook Afang Soup
* Nigerian Pepper Soup
* Nigerian Ogbono Soup :How to Cook Ogbono  Soup
* Nigerian Fish Stew (Obe Eja Tutu) 
 * How to Cook Nigerian Egusi Soup(Ofe Egusi/Obe Efo Elegusi)
* Nigerian Okra Soup


  1. Anonymous3:29:00 PM

    Thanks!! Good job it worked well for me.

    1. I'm glad to be of help dear :)

  2. Anonymous11:40:00 PM

    Can I use vegetable oil

    1. You won't get the distinct taste the palm oil gives to the meal, but yes a lot of people use vegetable oil and ground tomatoes as a substitute for palm oil.

  3. Anonymous12:33:00 AM

    What is d best fish for egusi soup apart from meat dat will not break

    1. All fresh fish will break, it's the timing that matters. So add the fish at almost the end of the cooking time and don't stir the soup too much.
      Mackerel (titus) fish is my favorite for egusi soup.

  4. As a Nigerian living in the Netherlands, the recipe is quite helpful. Thumbs up

  5. Anonymous4:18:00 PM

    As a Nigerian living in the Netherlands, the recipe is quite helpful. Thanks!

  6. Anonymous10:04:00 PM

    can I add tomatoes

    1. Some people add blended tomatoes to egusi soup, so feel free to add it if you want to. It is best added after frying the egusi.

  7. well done Nky Lily Lete, God bless you. have really learnt a lot from your recipes and cooking methods. how do i cook the party like big lumps of egusi soup(big scrambled egg-like). thank you

  8. Well done Nky Lilly Lete, God Bless you. have really learnt a lot from your recipes and cooking methods. how do i cook the party like big lumps of egusi soup(big scrambled egg-like type). thank you.

    1. Hi TeeKay, to get the lumps, blend the egusi thoroughly and dissolve with a little water, to form a thick paste. Then heat up a little oil(the oil should not be too hot) and scoop in the paste(in balls) into the oil, you can use a tablespoon to scoop it.
      Let it fry for like 1 minute on low heat,stir gently so that it does not break to pieces, then when the lumps are well formed, scoop them out and set aside for later use. To cook the soup, add the oil you used for the egusi to the meat stock, add the ground crayfish&peppers, let it boil a bit, then add the lumpy egusi to the meat-pot before adding the vegetables.
      Another method is to grind the egusi seeds, place in a bowl and dilute with warm water to form a smooth thick paste. Mold into balls and add to the boiling meat stock.

  9. thanks alot Nky, will try both methods. GBU and all yours IJMN.

    1. You're always welcome dearie, God bless you too :)

  10. Great recipe! Just a quick question, how much Egusi do you use (in grams) ?

    1. Thanks Dorottya, I use about 150grams.

  11. Just made this soup and followed the instructions as closely as possible. I didn't have any palm oil, so I just used the blended tomato method (will buy palm oil soon). Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the world! This taste really great and I am SO proud of myself. Aunty daalu!!!

    1. You are so welcome sweetie , thanks for the lovely feedback :)

  12. Hello dear,i love this soup a lot. It looks delicious and breathtaking. Keep it up

  13. Anonymous12:01:00 PM

    Thanks so much Nky Lily! My question goes thus, is it mandatory to use tomatoes in d process? Can i slice d pepper/tomatoes?


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