Egusi soup, also called melon soup, is an absolute delightful delicacy enjoyed all over West Africa. It is one of the most popular sauces in the region.
The main ingredient for this sauce, comes from the dry seeds of the melon plant closely related to squash. Egusi is a thickener for meat or fish broth, simmered to create egusi soup. Serve this sauce with eba, pounded yam, tuwo, banku or any fufu product.
Where egusi or melon seeds are not obtainable, some have used pumpkin seeds as substitutes, although you do not get the same great flavour. Egusi is available in most African food shops.
With loads of distinct ethnic groups in West Africa, there are a lot of variations to egusi soup. However, one thing the various groups agree on is that it is always a delicious meal.
With most soups and sauces from this region, meat and fish are cooked in water and spices to form a broth. The broth serves as the base for various soups. Any chicken, beef and fish are a part of the sauce. To save time, I cook my broth beforehand. Such early preparation means my sauce is ready in about 40 minutes or less on weekdays when I need to fix dinner fast.
For this recipe, you could either use homemade chicken broth. Or use storebought ones.
Did you know you could swap the palm oil for olive oil. To still give that orange colour effect I add 2 teaspoons of tumeric. Tumeric is packed with loads of goodness. Read about it here.