learning how to cook Egusi ijebu or better still how to make yoruba egusi soup is another must know soup recipe amongst yoruba people in Nigeria.
Egusi soup is cooked in different ways by the different cultures in Nigeria. This post is about a quicker way of making the traditional Yoruba Style egusi soup or basic yoruba style egusi soup. lots of ladies learn this egusi soup recipe yoruba after seeing their mothers make this soup so many times. In my family, we call it ‘Mummy’s quick visitors’ soup’ because whenever we have visitors in the house, we would normally just see mum rush into the kitchen, and no more than 30 minutes later, she’s out of the kitchen with an amazing dish full of Egusi soup looking superbly delicious.
Egusi Soup can also be served with foods like Pounded Yam, Eba, Amala, Fufu, Wheat, Semolina, and even Rice.
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components of our egusi soup ingredient bundles
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yoruba egusi recipe
- Spinach (500g)
- Grounded egusi seed (3 cups)
- Palm oil (1 cup)
- Onion (x2)
- Knorr chicken cubes (x2)
- Mackerel (x1)
- Smoked/dried fish (x1)
- Grounded crayfish (1 tablespoonful)
- Whole crayfish (1 tablespoonful)
- Red ball pepper (x1)
- Scotch bonnet peppers (x3)
- Iru (1 tablespoonful)
- Chop a bulb of onion into little cubes
- Mix the egusi powder with 2 cooking spoonful of water
- Ensure it is of a thick consistency rather than a runny one (looking rather like cooked oats porridge)
- Wash the dried fish and break into small pieces
- Cut the whole mackerel fish into four pieces
- Blend the plum tomatoes, scotch bonnets and the ball pepper with half a bulb of onions.
- Pour palm oil into a pot and heat up for 2 mins
- Add chopped onions and let it fry for 2-3 mins on low heat.
- Add the egusi mixture and fry for 4-5 mins.
- Add the grounded crayfish, whole crayfish and locust beans
- Add the mackerel and a cube of maggi and let this fry for another 3 mins
- Pour in the blended pepper and season with salt and the remaining maggi cube cook for 7-10 mins
- Add the vegetables and cook on low heat for 5 mins
And VOILA….. your soup is ready!!!!
A second recipe for Yoruba Egusi soup
- Toasted Egusi (melon) seeds – very important, to toast in a pan to ease out the natural oils from the egusi, which help it form that very vital smooth texture
- Red/white Onions – lots of it
- Tatashe – red bell pepper
- Ata rodo – scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
- Iru – fermented locust beans. You can leave this out, if you can’t source it
- Ogiri – one – two wraps, depending on the volume of Egusi. You can leave this out, if you can’t source it
- Smoked fish
- Assorted Meat – preferably goat meat, but any type of meat is fine
- Hake – or any firm fish like croaker
- Palm oil
- Stock – from your meat
1. Toast the Egusi seeds in a dry frying pan, until the seeds start to brown a little. Be careful they don’t burn (i will bring a picture later)
2. Blend all the ingredients save for the Fish, meats and Ogiri in a blender. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: egusi Ijebu is meant to be smooth, smooth, smooth. So therefore, eveything you need to add flavour, that will not dissolve naturally (like Ogiri), should be blended. You also need to blend with water and beef stock, because the paste should be quite watery to start with. It will thicken in the pot don’t worry, besides Egusi Ijebu is a very fluid soupy soup.
3. Empty the contents of the blender Jug into a pot, and pour in Palm oil
4. Now, this is where Funmi instructed very seriously. As soon as the pot is on the heat, you have to stir and stir with your back into it, because if you leave the Egusi undisturbed, it will start to clump together and naturally form lumps, or at the least pebbles, which you don’t want, so you stir, stir, and stir, while it is cooking, to incorporate the palm oil, at first, and then as it cooks.
5. Keep stirring until you can see and feel the egusi thickening. The palm oil should have properly combined, and the signature Egusi Ijebu colour, should be slowly forming. Midway before this stage, you should have added the Ogiri. It will dissolve, and the aroma is amazing
6. You now need to let the Egusi bubble up and cook some more. You know you have done a good job of stirring, if when left alone, it doesn’t clump up, stick to the bottom of the pot or form pebbles. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: Remember my tip in Step 1, where I advocated for lots of water and/or beef stock. You will see why that is important.
7. While we were allowing the Egusi cook undisturbed, we fried the hake. It looked prettier to cut the standard fish slices to bite sized chunks.
8. When the soup has thickened sufficiently, add the fish and assorted meat pieces – goat meat, beef, saki, pomo, cowleg, anything you have at home. Once they are in, stir, taste for salt and seasoning cubes, and re-adjust if necessary.
see how smooth the soup is? This is the real McCoy Egusi Ijebu
Give it much longer on the heat, and you should notice the colour of the Egusi deepen to a mustard-ish shade. Also teeny tiny patches of palm oil interspersed with the natural oil of the Egusi should be doing Pee-a-boo on top of the soup………………and you are done