Melon soup

Melon soup is prepared with (egusi) seeds.

These are flat ovoid seeds with a tapering pointed end, milky to white in colour, very rich in protein and a special type of highly nutritious plant oil. 

Botanically called Citrullus lanatus, It is popularly used in soups in West and Central Africa. They have a very long shelf like and are quite versatile in the ranges of uses they can be put into both in human and livestock feeding, as well as manufacturing.

They grow on dry land, and have a light brown shell or husk covering the whitish seed. They look like the pumpkin seed in appearance, and are often swapped for them where not available. It is not uncommon to find families sitting around a tray full of this seed, removing husk from it.

Other names for melon soup are agushi or guna shanu (Hausa), ikpoghiri (Itsekiri),  neri niri (Ghanaians)or ibara (Congolese) and many others.  Why not try this recipe below it is slightly different from my other egusi recipe compare to see which suits you best. I used same quantity of ingredients.

Melon soup

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 10min

Cooking Time: 40min


  • 11/2 Cup of dry and grounded egusi
  • 125 ml of Palm oil
  • 2 medium sized dry fish
  • 1.5 Kg of assorted Meat ( tripe, cow feet or oxtail cut bite size)
  • 6-8 Grilled chicken thigh or drumsticks
  • 1 Cup stockfish pieces(optional but available in most African food shops)
  • 1 medium size finely chopped onions
  • 1-2 Teaspoons grounded cayene pepper
  • 2 cups of chopped spinach
  • salt to taste


Cook the meat and fish following the instructions I would post in the next couple of days.

Heat up a heavy based pot and melt palm oil.

Stir in the chopped onion and fry for about 4 minutes then add the egusi and stir continuously. You would soon smell the nutty aroma of the egusi.

Pour in about 4cups of stock combine and cover the pot allowing it to cook on medium low heat. Check after 10minutes stir and reduce heat to low allowing it to simmer for the rest of the cooking.

Add the meat and fish, crayfish, cayenne pepper. Taste for salt and adjust. Allow to simmer for about 15minutes so the soup absorbs the flavours of the meat and fish.

Add spinach and stir then cook for a further 5-8 minutes.

Serve with eba, pounded yam, banku, semovita, rice.


Recipe provided by

Nutritional Value of Melon Soup

Egusi is very high in nutritional value. It is made up of 30 – 40 % protein, and about the same proportion of oil.

The oil from this seed is cholesterol free.

The news get even better: 78 % of the fat is unsaturated fatty acid, which is protective to the heart. In terms of vitamins, it contains alpha-tocopherol, a component of vitamin E that helps in maintaining smooth young skin and good fertility.

It also contains palmitic, stearic, linoleic and oleic acids important in protecting the heart too, and very small amount of carbohydrate and calcium. No wonder the Centre for Cover Crops Information and Seed Exchange in Africa decries the gross under researched and utility of egusi. It could greatly help to wipe off malnutrition.

Like most African foods grown in Africa, agusi is organically grown.


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