Egusi Soup
(Melon Soup)

Egusi soup, also called melon soup is an absolute delightful delicacy enjoyed all over West Africa. It is one of the most popular sauce in the region.

Egusi soup or melon soup is made from the dry seeds of the melon plant closely related to squash. It is usually used as a thickener for meat or fish broth simmered to create an amazing dish of egusi often paired with eba, pounded yam, tuwo, banku and many others.

Where egusi or melon seeds are not obtainable, some have used pumpkin seeds, as substitutes, although, you do not get same great flavour. Egusi can be obtained from most African food shops.

With loads of distinct ethnic groups in West Africa, there are a lot of variations in the way it is prepared. 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 broth or stock which in turn serve as the base for various soups. The meat and fish are usually served with the soup. To save time I cook my broth before hand so the soup is ready in about 40 minutes or less on weekdays when it is needed.

Egusi soup

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 10min

Cooking Time: 30min


  •  1 and 1/2 Cup egusi seed (grounded with a dry blender)
  • 1/4 Cup palm oil
  • 2 Cups chopped spinach
  • 2 medium sized dry fish
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Crayfish
  • 1.5 Kg of assorted Meat ( tripe, cow feet or oxtail cut bite size)
  • 6-8 Grilled chicken thigh or drumsticks or beef if prefer that
  • 1 Cup stockfish pieces(optional but available in most African food shops)
  • 1 medium size finely chopped onions
  • 1-2 Teaspoons grounded cayene pepper
  • Iru(local seasoning)
  • salt to taste


Note: It is best to prepare some things before hand. I would start with these first:

Cook the tripe, cow feet and oxtail following these instructions

Grill the chicken by following these instructions

Heat a heavy based pot and melt the palm oil 

Fry the chopped onion in the oil for about 3 minutes and add the iru for a distinctive aroma if you choose to use this but it is optional

Stir in the grounded egusi, stirring continuously until it releases its distinct flavour in about three minutes of frying and stirring and really fried when the oil start floating on top

Pour in a litre of the broth(stock) and assorted meat and stir to combine with the egusi. Cover the pot and allow to cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes stir and repeat every 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes before adding the grilled chicken, pepper and crayfish. Please add more of the stock if you find it too thick

Taste for salt and pepper and adjust accordingly

Allow chicken to simmer in the sauce for about ten minutes then add the spinach and cook for a further five minutes and turn off heat

Serve with eba, or any fufu meal, rice, yam, plantain

Bon appetite

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