Egusi is a West African name for the seeds of plants like squash, melons, and gourds that, when dried and ground become a staple ingredient in many West african dishes. These seeds are rich in fat and protein, and add these essential nutrients into West African Cuisine.

Egusi stew  is a soup thickened with ground melon seeds and contains leafy and other vegetables.  It is one of the most popular soups prepared by most tribes in Nigeria with considerable variation and often eaten with dishes like Pounded Yams.  Prepare it with goat, beef, fish, or shellfish!

So friends, in order not to keep you waiting for so long, here is some delectable Egusi Soup that will make your taste buds sing!


Egusi Soup is a soup made with a white kind of pumpkin seeds (obtainable from African stores or

Ground Egusi (or pumpkin seeds) is the main ingredient. Other ingredients include red palm oil, African crayfish, meats and fish, seasoning, hot pepper and some form of leafy greens.

Egusi is basically white pumpkin seeds though some people prefer to call it melon seeds.


Egusi soup is nutty, spicy and so rich thanks to the variety of meats and fish often used.

Egusi is enjoyed in various ways in West Africa. Check out this Cameroon groundnut pudding or this Cameroon Egusi pudding video


Egusi soup happens in three main steps.

1: Boil the meats and/or fish you intend to use. Preferably do this the day before so making your egusi soup is easy the next day.

2. Grind the egusi. I advise that you always buy whole egusi seeds and grind them yourself. That way you are sure of the quality of the seeds. Pre-ground egusi is not always the best.

3. Saute onions in red palm oil, cook egusi in red palm oil then add the boiled meats, crayfish and seasoning. It is really that easy!


One famous way of eating Egusi soup is with pounded yam or Eba which is known as Gari – A dough-like side dish made out of pounded (or ground) African white yam.

Served mine with Gari which you can find in any African store or

To make gari, you simply have to boil water and add the granules to it. Put the pan in the microwave for 10 minutes. Turn and allow to cool down then serve with your Egusi soup !


Watch me make Egusi stew in the video  below.

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Egusi stew

Egusi soup made the Nigerian way with red palm oil and different kinds of meats. Enjoy with pounded yam, garri or other kinds of fufu.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, nigerian cuisine
Servings 7 people
Calories 302 kcal


  • 1 pressure cooker to boil the hard chicken


2 cups Egusi- 1/2 cup Palm Oil- Hard chicken- Smoked mackerel Fish- Red Peppers- 6 Habanero (to taste)- 1 can tomatoe ( optional )- 4 Onions . 2 red and 2 white- 1 big chicken seasoning cube- Salt (to taste)- jumbo crayfish powder- onga seasoning



    • Boil the hard chicken in a pressure cooker . Do this before prepping your ingredients  so that cooking is quicker when blending with the Egusi stew. Boil the hard chicken in a pressure cooker . If using meat, cook with onions then add the less tough ones. Add salt halfway through the cooking process (about a teaspoon of salt). Reserve the stock of the chicken. Also, if using stockfish, be sure to soak it for some hours first and rinse thoroughly before cooking (cook it separately from the other meats/fish and discard of the stock). Stockfish has a very pungent smell so if you aren’t used to it you might be shocked at how much it smells. But the taste is amazing in Egusi Soup!. I used smocked mackerel for this recipe.  
    • Grind the Egusi. Grind the Egusi using the small cup of a blender, coffee grinder or whatever grinding machine you have on hand. Be sure to remove any bad seeds from the Egusi before grinding.

    Making the Egusi soup.

    • Place palm oil in a pot and heat up on high for about 3 minutes (do not bleach). Add the onions to the palm oil and sauté until fragrant. 
    • Add the ground Egusi to the palm oil and let it cook in it, while you stir from time to time until the Egusi shrinks and starts sticking to the bottom of the pot. About 7 minutes.
    • Add a teaspoon of crayfish and stir then add the cooked meats and their stock. Add the remaining crayfish, crayfish seasoning cube, habanero or scotch bonnet pepper then add water if needed according to desired thickness. Stir well and taste to ensure that seasoning is perfect. Let all the ingredients simmer together for about 5 minutes. 
    • Add the greens and let them cook in for about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat – your Egusi soup is ready!


    1. Options of meats to use include beef, goat meat, smoked/dried fish. I often just use a blend of what I have on hand or what I can easily find.
    2. Most of the ingredients in this recipe can be found in African stores (for those who do not live in Africa).
    Keyword #egusi stew, nigerian cuisine