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.

See also  Adalu (Nigerian Beans and Corn Porridge )

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.

See also  Nigerian Goat Meat Pepper Soup

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
* Okazi Soup (Ukazi Soup)
* Obe Ata Dindin : Nigerian Fried Pepper Stew
* Edikang Ikong Soup
* Nigerian Tomato Stew(Vegan Stew)
* Afang Soup
* Nigerian Pepper Soup
* Nigerian Ogbono Soup
* Nigerian Fish Stew (Obe Eja Tutu)
* Nigerian Okra Soup


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  1. August 7, 2022 / 2:29 pm

    I like then egusi soup adding bitter leaf, I also like the ofe onugu soup

    I live in Scotland unitedkingdom.

    • August 16, 2022 / 1:29 pm

      Hi Amina, the combo of egusi and bitter leaf is also one of my favorite
      hope you get to try it and give me your feedback.

  2. Ali gift
    May 7, 2021 / 1:57 pm

    Well don ma

  3. Andrew praise
    April 13, 2019 / 9:33 am

    Well done ma

  4. Azeez
    May 28, 2018 / 5:54 am

    Weldone ma , I'm actually a guy trying to learn as well.. In regards the meat stock, does the quantity matters? Does it have to be much or moderate?.. .so the soup doesn't stay watery?

  5. Anonymous
    March 9, 2018 / 10:41 am

    Thank you for this sissy…. What's your Instagram handle

  6. kolly
    November 10, 2016 / 5:22 pm

    pls how many dishes will this produce can it feed about 5 people

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 19, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      About 5 to 8 people depending on how much soup each person like to eat.

  7. Udoka
    November 6, 2016 / 7:37 am

    Hello Nky I love all your recipes and how u teach them to my understanding u are a great cook and can't wait to meet u in person thanks!

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 19, 2016 / 11:33 pm

      Thanks Udoka , I'll like to meet u too 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    February 5, 2016 / 11:01 am

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      November 19, 2016 / 11:29 pm

      It is not mandatory to use tomatoes

  9. Teeteefoodie
    November 13, 2015 / 7:17 am

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 30, 2015 / 11:28 am


  10. Mya Carter
    February 18, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    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!!!

    • Nky Lily Lete
      February 23, 2015 / 8:45 pm

      You are so welcome sweetie , thanks for the lovely feedback 🙂

  11. Dorottya Szuk
    January 4, 2015 / 5:15 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 4, 2015 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks Dorottya, I use about 150grams.

  12. TeeKayBee from SA
    December 22, 2014 / 9:36 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 24, 2014 / 2:07 pm

      You're always welcome dearie, God bless you too 🙂

  13. TeeKayBee from SA
    December 19, 2014 / 9:54 am

    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.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      December 19, 2014 / 3:58 pm

      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.

  14. TeeKayBee from SA
    December 19, 2014 / 9:51 am

    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

  15. Anonymous
    September 10, 2014 / 8:04 pm

    can I add tomatoes

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 12, 2014 / 11:12 am

      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.

  16. Anonymous
    August 26, 2014 / 2:18 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 12, 2014 / 11:10 am


  17. Richard Akporotu
    August 26, 2014 / 2:16 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 3, 2014 / 3:13 pm

      Thanks dearie 🙂

  18. Anonymous
    August 24, 2014 / 10:33 pm

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

    • Nky Lily Lete
      September 3, 2014 / 3:12 pm

      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.

  19. Anonymous
    May 13, 2014 / 9:40 pm

    Can I use vegetable oil

    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 16, 2014 / 1:12 pm

      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.

  20. spice
    May 7, 2014 / 8:09 pm


    • Nky Lily Lete
      May 9, 2014 / 6:12 pm

      thanks 🙂

  21. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 / 2:29 pm

    Thanks!! Good job it worked well for me.

    • Nky Lily Lete
      January 27, 2014 / 9:20 am

      I'm glad to be of help dear 🙂

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