Ground Egusi (Melonseed)

Descriptions :
Egusi colosynthis citrullus lanatus is a West African melon. Agushi, agusi and egushi are other names for this fruit. The melon's flesh is bitter and inedible; only the seeds of the fruit are eaten. Egusi seeds are high in protein and their flavor is said to be close to that of pumpkin seeds. Each seed is oval shaped and whitish in color with a light tan shell. The shelled seeds are ground for use in Nigerian recipes — especially the popular egusi soup.

Ground seeds create a thick soup base that may be thinned down with oil and water. If less water and oil are used, a stew rather than a soup is created; some people prefer a thicker base. Meat and/or fish as well as vegetables finish the soup. Fermented beans called iri as well as chili peppers are added for flavor. Shrimp or crayfish may be used for the fish component of the soup, while the meats may be beef or goat.

A traditional Nigerian egusi soup recipe calls for vegetables such as bitterleaf and celosia. Bitterleaf is from the aster family and it's a leafy vegetable that grows throughout central and West Africa. Bitterleaf has a bittersweet flavor similar to spinach and is sold dried or fresh. Celosia is an edible vine that grows in tropical and subtropical climates; the flowers are crested and brightly colored and the leafy green parts are eaten as a vegetable. African red onions are other vegetables typically added to the soup.
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Category   Food/Spices/Drinks  
SubCategory   African Food/ Spices  


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Ground Egusi (Melonseed)