The right ingredients for egusi soup with bitter leaves are very important in making a delicious ofe egusi. Meanwhile, egusi is arguably the most popular soup in Nigeria.
Naturally, egusi is known for its fatty and proteinous seeds. It is in the cucurbitaceous plant family of squash, melon, and gourd, which are allowed to dry and ground. The ground seeds are now used as a major ingredient in some West African dishes.
Among the countries that grow egusi are Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Benin
In Nigeria, egusi is a common soup among the Igbos of southeastern Nigeria, the Ibibio people of Akwa Ibom and the Efik people (the Calabars) of the South-South part of Nigeria. They call it Afere ikong in their language. The Hausas of Northern Nigeria, the Edo people, Esan people of the south-west of Nigeria also enjoy this special delicacy as part of their cuisine. Yoruba people and notably the people of Ọṣun State – specifically, the Ijesha people – eat “iyan and egusi”, a pounded yam and egusi soup.
Variations on Ingredients for Egusi soup with Bitter leaf Recipe
Ingredients for Egusi soup usually vary but the major thing needed is the ground seeds (melon seed). It also has different variations according to the locality and culture. Egusi soup can be cooked with various leaves of choice, like pumpkin leaves, spinach, ukazi, and even washed bitter leaf.
However, our focus in this article is on how to infuse washed bitter leaves in egusi soup. Bear in mind that the different leaves mentioned above are all great for egusi soup. The only difference is the slight change in the taste, color, and even texture of the soup. For example, adding spinach to egusi makes it a little watery. This is because spinach contains mostly water. Bitterleaf, on the other hand, can darken the soup slightly as it gets warmed or microwave the more.
How to Make Egusi soup with Bitterleaf – Ofe Egusi
Homemade egusi soup with bitter leaf is called Ofe Egusi in Igbo it’s so easy to cook especially with the right ingredients is bought; within minutes those ingredients are combined together to make a delicious ofe egusi.
Ingredients for Egusi Soup Recipe
- ½ derica or 2 cups Ground egusi (Melon seed)
- 70ml Palm oil
- Dry fish (sizeable or to taste)
- Stockfish (medium)
- Beef/goat meat (10pieces or to taste)
- Kpomo (optional)
- Shaki (optional)
- Fresh or ground chili
- Crayfish (to taste)
- Stock cubes (4)
- Washed bitter-leaves (a handful and diced)
- Sal (to taste)
- First of all, wash the meat and the stockfish, put in a clean sizeable soup pot, add 1½ medium cups of water, and sit on a stove. Add 2 stock cubes and some chili and cook for 20mins. The meat would have softened and the fish flavor would have seeped into the meat stock. Add more water as needed.
- Secondly, use a smaller pot, pour about 50-70ml of palm oil in an empty pot and leave to heat for one minute. Then pour the ground egusi into the oil and stir consistently until almost burning.
- Thirdly, scoop the fried egusi into the pot containing meat and stock. Wash the dried fish and add, ground pepper and crayfish, okpei melted or ground. Stir the mixture and leave to cook for 10-15mins.
- Finally, add the already washed and diced bitter leaves. Add in bits so as to get the appropriate quantity. (Please, ensure you preboil the bitter leaves to reduce the bitter taste.) Stir and cook for 3 more minutes, and check the taste before turning off the heat.
Yum! Your delicious egusi soup with bitter leaves is ready.
Serve hot with any swallow of choice, ranging from Eba, Fufu, Pounded yam, Amala, Semo or any other one of your choice!
Serve and enjoy a sumptuous bitter-leaf Egusi soup delicacy.