Egusi Soup - African dish with melon seeds


Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking or baking time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 1 hr. 40 min.

Inspired by Bernhard's contribution on watermelons, during which the processing of the kernels was discussed, and also through a new tip on the recognition of ripe watermelons, I cooked after a long time again a West African traditional meal, named after melon seeds: Egusi Soup - a stew with ground melon seeds.

The court does not get a place in the category "healthy light food", but - moderately enjoyed - quite defensible.

Some ingredients may seem strange, but can easily be replaced and replaced, and those who dare to try international dishes will not regret learning about West Africa's cuisine.

The Egusi Soup, which is actually more of a stew, are used according to your preferences a variety of different types of meat and fish.

Here is my own list of ingredients (the quantities for meat and fish can each decide for themselves).


  • Beef lean
  • lamb
  • Beef soup meat, leg slice
  • Fish (in my case cod fillet)

- all cut into bite-sized pieces -

Crabs, mussels, shrimps, dried and roasted crabs / prawns, which are ground, optionally also fish broth, skinless chicken parts, leaf spinach (blocks frozen) or / and kale (the original recipe requires Bitterleaf, this dried vegetables are quite unknown and substitute spinach or kale is used).

  • 1 big onion
  • 1 can of pizza tomatoes
  • some tomato paste
  • 2 small habanero peppers red and yellow
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • possibly 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup palm oil (alternatively coconut fat)
  • 3/4 cup melon or pumpkin seeds

The cups refer to a large coffee cup / cup.


  1. The beef and lamb as well as the parts of the chicken are cooked in a saucepan with water, so that the meat is barely covered, cooked on a low flame for about 45 minutes.
  2. Added is some salt, thyme and 1-2 bouillon cubes. I chose the tomato-onion variety and added some fish stock.
  3. While the meat is cooking, add about 1/2 cup of palm oil or enough coconut oil to a tall saucepan and sauté the chopped onions in a glassy sauce.
  4. When the onion is lightly browned, tomato paste is roasted, then the pizza tomato and spinach or kale are added and simmered for a further 15 minutes on a low flame.
  5. After that, the dried and previously ground shrimp and prawns, as well as the chili peppers can also be added.
  6. Now, the melon seeds in the blender (or in the coffee grinder) are ground to a fine powder, which serves as a thickening agent. Alternatively, sunflower seeds can be used. The taste does not matter very much.
  7. Pumpkin seeds are usually used in the original recipe - but I always collect melon seeds in summer and dry them for this dish.
  8. This fine powder is the Egusi, after which the meat stew is named. I like to mix it with water until a porridge is formed, some add an egg instead of water and others sprinkle it directly into the simmering "stew".
  9. I now stir my melon kernel porridge into the oil with the onions and the tomatoes and let it cook for about 10 minutes on a low heat.
  10. The meat should now be even and is now added with the cooking water in the pot with the oil and the other ingredients and mixed carefully. Now the prawns, clams and fish come along and are cooked for a further 15 minutes on a low flame.
  11. The court sounds very expensive; but the preparation is easier than expected.
  12. Traditionally, this dish is eaten with your fingers, for which a solid dumpling made of semolina flour is prepared on a separate plate, from which small pieces are removed, formed between the fingers, so that you can pick up the stew with meat. For this reason, it is sufficient to clean your hands before and during the meal always a bowl of water, which are added a few drops of lemon.
  13. Pounded yam (yam is a tropical root, similar in taste to sweet potato) or gari (also cassava, cassave, yuka, better known here as cassava) would be served to the casserole in West Africa; but it also tastes very good with a dumpling made from unseasoned mashed potatoes, prepared only in water or, for those who are reluctant to eat with their fingers, over rice or couscous with a spoon.
  14. The side dishes should not be flavored, as they should taste-neutral only serve the one-pot intake.
  15. The time required only refers to the cooking times, apart from the meat washing and cutting and the crushing of the shrimp / prawns, the dish takes no more time than the preparation of goulash.
  16. I wish Ounje ajeye o or even a ci abinci lafiya - but would rather wait for temperatures below 25 degrees, if you really want to enjoy this nutritious stomach-filling food!