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.
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.