Egusi Soup – Lumpy Yoruba Style


Egusi is one the most widely consumed soups in Nigeria, it’s prepared by most tribes. Egusi is ground up shelled melon seed. Its dry milled and combined with a little water to form a paste. The paste is then combined with seafood and cows meat to make the soup.

Egusi is traditionally served with a starch. Possible starch options include Iyan (Pounded yam), Garri (fermented cassava), elubo (fermented yam) or semolina. The vegetable used in egusi preparation is also very important, it goes a long well in defining the taste of the soup. Great choices are tete (calallo), spinach, ugu (fluted pumpkin leaf), ewuro (bitter leaf), Gbure (water leaf), amunututu (malabar spinach), kale, collard and or scent leaf (efirin).

The main factor that set Yoruba style egusi soup apart is theΒ  presence of clumps/lumps . According to my grandmother, egusi is just as delicious as meat in this lumpy form. There are different methods to getting and retaining lumps in the soup, I will be using the frying method which happens to be most straightforward .Β  Yoruba style egusi is also cooked with stew base (sans tomato) and contains iru. The recipe can be modified without these ingredients.


  • 1/4 cup groundnut oil*
  • 1 cooking spoon palm oil
  • 1 cup ground egusi
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup pepper sauce
  • 2 bouillon cubes (Maggi)
  • 1 tablespoon crayfish powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon locust beans
  • 1/4 cup ede (Dried shrimps) (Optional)
  • Precooked meat and fish – choice quantity



CombineΒ  the egusi with 2 table spoons of water, mix until you have a thick paste

Set a medium sized pot on medium heat, add in the groundnut oil. With a teaspoon, ball up the egusi mixture and drop into the oil. fry for 3 minutes.

Add 1.5 (one and half) cups of water into the fried egusi, cover and bring to a rolling boil.

Break up the egusi lumps into smaller bite size pieces (optional)

Add other ingredients apart from chopped vegetable. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 10-12mins.

Stir the egusi carefully, taste and adjust for salt. Add in the vegetable. simmer for another 3 minutes.

Serve your egusi with Amala, Eba, White rice or pounded Yam. Enjoy!!!

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Lose It Nigerian

By |March 13th, 2012|107 Comments


  1. Rashanah Bilal November 6, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Omg…. Ronke you are my savior!!!! I am 100% american but lovvvveeee the Nigerian culture and the food!!! Majority of my friends are Nigerian and I have found a new love for Nigerian food! To the point where I was always craving the food but having to wait for a party or go to this Nigerian restaurant that was a hit or miss every time I went there. Soooo…. I found out about your website just by googling Nigerian recipes. Since then I have been using your recipes and directions to cook up my own food. When I say these recipes are SPOT ON, I MEAN SPOT ON!!!!!! Everything that I have made so far I let a TRUE Nigerian taste them and they could say absolutely nothing wrong about them!!! They said I am taking them back home to REAL NIGERIAN food…. Lol. This egusi soup being one of my dishes my made!!!!πŸ˜‰

    • Rashanah Bilal November 6, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      You are so genius to have every meal’s recipe down packed!!!!πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ‘ŒπŸ½πŸ‘πŸ½

  2. R Mira G October 25, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

    I’ve been following some of your recipes for a while and they have all turned out fine ( coming from someone who cooks too). Thanks for the diversity and authenticity. This method turned out to be the best Egusi I’ve ever made! I altered it a bit by using less water and more broth, was just amazing. Big hug!

  3. 9jafoodie
    9jafoodie October 19, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply


  4. Ogunyemi August 2, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    11 (2cups) of water? Just pour it in 11 times?

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie August 2, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      one and a half cups of water. added in all at once.

  5. Omotayo July 11, 2016 at 9:15 am - Reply

    When did u add the Palm oil pls

  6. Ebere January 17, 2016 at 9:13 am - Reply


  7. wende October 28, 2015 at 7:54 pm - Reply

    Omg, I just finished trying the recipe ir turn out well and I love it and I have try other recipe too from your blog they are also good and thank you so much for doing this

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 31, 2015 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

  8. eve October 17, 2015 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Hello..I just tried the YORUBA egusi…and I am so impressed of myself…hubby scored me 7.5 over 10…he will tell me what the 2.5 is about later when we are in bed..”blink -blink…thank you so much…I am about to try the bitter today as well..wl share feed back..God bless

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie October 17, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Yeiii!! thanks for the feedback. Good luck with the other soup, I cant wait for the feedback.

  9. Florence Ugorji July 11, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

    I just finish preparing this recipe, it came out very nice and i love it.

  10. funmilayo July 8, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

    I just finish preparing my egusi. Woow this is what I have been looking for for a
    Very long time. It is just perfect. Thanks.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      That’s good to hear. Thanks for the feedback

  11. Abeke June 30, 2015 at 7:05 am - Reply

    I actually used your recipe this time for my husband and he said it was perfect! It was very delicious, I love your recipes!

  12. Adeife February 13, 2015 at 11:37 am - Reply

    Please how did you make the eba rolls? Thanks

  13. Bolanle August 29, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Thnks so much for this …. U jes saved my sorry ass dis afternoon…. Whoops I would av embarrassed myself in frnt of hz friends…thnks so much

  14. Wande George June 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    If u want huge clumps in ur egusi mix wit a little bit less od d water n me u will be that frm my mum..n it works all d time. My hubby luvs it. Make sure d egg is more than d egusi itself in d mix

  15. Prince Ay March 28, 2014 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    This looks like a very interesting concept, another way to get clumps is to mix the egusi with eggs, I learnt that from my mum and it always turns out great. You’d have to mix it at the beginning and boil it along side the tomato puree which I normally do. And another way to maintain a level headed taste all round is to mix the egusi with salt, pepper and blended crayfish from the beginning.

  16. buki December 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm - Reply

    I usually mix the dry egusi with egg white and drop in small balls into the boiling pepper sauce. Your method eliminates that step and I will be trying it tomorrow. No, right after I try the ogbono soup recipe I just bookmarked. πŸ™‚ BTW, I have found that substituting the pepper sauce with ground cameroun /black pepper and ground crayfish is a great way to vary the taste.

  17. Iya Aaliyah December 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    I don’t know how to cook any nigerian food tomorrow I’m planing to cook for my Man and my Mother-in-law **crossing fingers**

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie December 7, 2013 at 8:50 am - Reply

      You will do great! let us know how it goes

  18. tunmi November 4, 2013 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I normally make the egusi clump by first making the efo. Then I prepare my egusi clump by mixing an egg with some egusi with a fork (lightly not an even mix). Then I drop the egg/egusi mixture into the efo with my hand or a spoon. This frying method is a new one πŸ™‚

  19. adedolapo October 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    Pls do a 9jafoodie apps so we can download on Android and smart phones.

  20. Ade October 2, 2013 at 8:41 am - Reply

    Just finished cooking using ur recipe. I’m so very sure my hubby will love cos I’m living it already. I love d small balls. Thx

  21. Ehi September 6, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    I used this recipe today and I can say that this is the best egusi soup I have made by far, come and see my Oga at the top swallowing eba like there’s no tomorrow. Thanks 9jafoodie

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie September 14, 2013 at 11:00 am - Reply

      OMG!!!! That is so awesome to hear…. please share the recipe with family and friends

  22. Anonymous September 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    I used this recipe today and I can say that this is the best egusi soup I have made by far, come and see my Oga at the top swallowing eba like there’s no tomorrow. Thanks 9jafoodie

  23. Anonymous August 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    God I tried the recipe this evening wow my husband was so happy and surprise. Thanks guys

  24. chike August 18, 2013 at 9:57 am - Reply

    After trying this i only have one question

    Will you marry me

  25. chike August 18, 2013 at 3:37 am - Reply

    this looks good will surely try it

  26. Anonymous July 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply


  27. pretty June 12, 2013 at 2:29 am - Reply

    Looking tasty… Can I substitute the groundnut oil with palm oil? Not too keen on g/oil in soup. Tnx πŸ™‚

  28. Nwanne June 11, 2013 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Just wondering, instead of adding water to the egusi after it has been fried – can you just add the water used in boiling the meat?

  29. Lumka June 11, 2013 at 3:19 am - Reply

    Thank you for this, I’m South African and my boyfriend is Nigerian, I am going to surprise him with Egusi on Saturday, hope he’ll like it, #holding thumbs.

  30. meme May 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    That’s going to burn my belle when I eat it. i’ve tired egsi, it doesnt taste that good

  31. biola January 30, 2013 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Thanks a lot. God bless you…

  32. Name (required)Chizor Henshaw January 28, 2013 at 1:24 am - Reply

    Comment…I’ve tried and tried to get those clumps to no avail. But this looks like a method that will work. Can’t wait to try!!

    PS: only just discover your site. Hmmmm…don’t make me an addict o!!!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie February 2, 2013 at 7:03 am - Reply

      We need you to be an addict oh….lol… let us know how your egusi turns out.

  33. damola December 23, 2012 at 11:49 am - Reply

    Pls, teach me how to make egusi stew, d one we grind the egusi with the pepper.

  34. Jiddah July 26, 2012 at 10:06 am - Reply

    My mum says to blend the egusi until smooth then slice some onions thinly into the egusi and blend again.

    Nice site.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie July 28, 2012 at 9:55 am - Reply

      hOOO YEAh? to start with un-blended egusi? or mix the onions in the the blended one?

      • Benny September 22, 2012 at 5:30 am - Reply

        Jidda is right!!! How the onions make the egusi clump together the more, I can not say. I get my clumps by making the egusi paste mixed with onions. Then I fry in hot palm oil with minimal stirring until I get the desired clumps. I then add in the pepper sauce and other ingredients.

        Another version is to make the egusi paste and add to the sauce while its boiling/cooking. You also do not have to stir it much until when the whole soup is almost cooked. This gives better clumps.

        I have tried both methods and it gives me very good clumps. Pity; I don’t have pictures to show now.

        • 9jafoodie
          9jafoodie September 23, 2012 at 10:01 am - Reply

          Thanks Benny!! you should send us some pictures next time you cook. Thanks for the great addition.

  35. ara indonesia June 27, 2012 at 3:43 am - Reply

    My husband comes from Senegal, and I can not cook of food from Senegal, as it is very hard to find African recipes on the internet .

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie June 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      I will look into posting some Senegalese recipes.

  36. Abimbola June 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this recipe. I most show appreciations because it just boosted my morale to my friend.

  37. Pamela May 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    I usually fry the egusi in the pepper sauce with the palm oil. I will have to try this method! Looks good

  38. Adeola May 2, 2012 at 4:55 am - Reply

    will definitely try this method. Ive seen a few videos on YT, but just could never get my egusi to clump together. May be the key is adding water after frying, so it doesnt brake apart when you add the pepper, veggies and others. thanks for sharing

  39. Jadore-Fashion April 28, 2012 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Omg! Looking at the at work makes want to cry for hunger! I will want to try this…yummy πŸ™‚


    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 29, 2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

      Thanks Stella, it’s really not too difficult once you get started.

  40. Ibifiri Kamson April 3, 2012 at 6:58 am - Reply

    wow if i lived close to you i will not cook again in my life. You will be my full time chef. And to think i was just complaining to my friend that there is no african cook for african dishes on food network. Think you should think about it.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 7, 2012 at 6:53 am - Reply

      AMEN!! Food network here I come. I am a camera shy person,especially when i am not with my immediate circle. God has His plans I am sure. Thanks for the vote of confidence dear.

  41. Relentless Builder March 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Fried Egusi? I would not have believed it if I didn’t see the pictures! This is one interesting technique I gasta try. Egusi soup is one of my favorite soups o! With pounded yam and goat meat, a pot-belly is inevitable … if you eat it all the time. LOL! Love this recipe, ma’am!

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie April 7, 2012 at 6:51 am - Reply

      lol…all in moderation my love. Thank you thank you

  42. a-9ja-great March 22, 2012 at 4:17 am - Reply

    The good thing is i hate egusi so for once,at least,i didn’t salivate.*walking out proud* LOL

  43. ola March 20, 2012 at 4:26 am - Reply

    Thanks 9ja foodie; tried this recipe; loved it and I’m definately sticking to this….xoxoxoxo

  44. LohiO March 19, 2012 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    this looks gooood! gosh!!!

  45. chic therapy March 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    now swallows imaginary eba and egusi

  46. Dosh March 18, 2012 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    You just made my mouth water…
    I’m soooo mad cos i ran out of palm oil a while back and have no idea how no get some where i am. I made egusi this afternoon with groundnut oil :'( It wasn’t bad per se but it just didn’t look right which made me feel like it didn’t taste right. A couple of hours later and i open your blog only to see palm oil smirking at me… this is not life o

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 24, 2012 at 7:33 am - Reply

      Sorry dear, let us hope you can get some palm oil soonest.

  47. Obi March 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    So I followed your recipe with few modifications: stockfish in place of the shellfish and Oha leaves in place of spinach. THANK YOU for this new addition to my kitchen skills. It was very tasty. Can’t wait to try it with goat meat.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm - Reply

      Yeiiiiii!!!! I am extremely happy to hear that, I am sure it will be epic with goat meat.

  48. Lily Johnson March 16, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Delicious looking mehn! I will definitely try this recipe.

  49. Okeoghene March 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    That is why Yoruba Egusi always taste different, good different. …Egusi on my mind

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Haa… now you know the secret πŸ™‚

  50. lorlah March 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Eat egusi made like this and you wont want it any other way trust me.I usually fry mine with palm oil so will definitely try using ground nut oil.
    BTW your showing pictures of the different stages is a wonderful idea so we no what things are supposed to look like @ each stage looking forward to when you start showing videos too.
    More grease to your elbow

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      Yes, I use groundnut oil to cut out some fat and calories. Thank you much!!! I will look into doing videos sometime πŸ™‚

  51. NikkiSho March 15, 2012 at 10:21 am - Reply

    This is kind of way my mum makes egusi…yum!

  52. ASHLEY QUEN March 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    PS: Please reply to our email address. Thanks!

  53. ASHLEY QUEN March 14, 2012 at 9:44 pm - Reply


    we loove your blog and would like to share your posts with our readers with link back to your site, is this OK?

    Ashley Quen [email protected]

  54. Myne Whitman March 14, 2012 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I’m definitely going to be trying this.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 15, 2012 at 6:27 am - Reply

      Yeiii!!! please let me know how it turns out.

  55. Dayor March 14, 2012 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Hmmm, yummy…9jafoodie has done it again.

    Thumbs up!

  56. bsnc March 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    I have seen four ways of preparing egusi and this is the fifth one lol. I will just combine all the techniques and make something incredible ( i hope).

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 15, 2012 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Lol…. please create something and share with us.

      • chi May 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm - Reply

        Please can I make egusi soup with ball pepper since I dont have red oil?

        • 9jafoodie
          9jafoodie May 20, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

          yes you can, however, the color will not be as bright as red palm oil version

  57. rhapsody March 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Looks interesting, i don’t think i have ever had that. Fascinating the medely of cuisine in the world.

    have a blessed day and enjoy the rest of your week.

    Please stop by my blog and pick up your award. The post is dated Mar.8.12

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 15, 2012 at 6:30 am - Reply

      Thanks for the comment and the award! you rock πŸ™‚

  58. Nollywood REinvented March 13, 2012 at 8:26 am - Reply

    I think I am going to stick with regular style Eguisi soup as I am too much of an ole to eat pepper hence that pepper sauce is not going to fly by me.

    • 9jafoodie
      9jafoodie March 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      You can always use bell pepper and tomatoes alone.

  59. Toin March 13, 2012 at 8:20 am - Reply

    *Gulps and swallows* 9ja foodie o!
    I’ll be day-dreaming about this and Eba now

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