Egusi pepper soup is similar to the normal Nigerian pepper soup with the addition of egusi/melon which is the only difference between both recipes. Egusi pepper soup can be eaten as it is just like pepper soup or paired with “swallow” like poundo, eba and so on.
To make this recipe you need to toast the melon(egusi) seeds then blend just as you would when you want to cook the normal egusi soup. You can use any protein of your choice but I will recommend not to use just dried fish. Fresh fish, beef, cowskin, stockfish, cow leg are all good addition to dried fish for this recipe.
Also, if you don’t have ehuru, uziza, uda pod you can use pepper soup mix depending on the quantity you’re cooking. For this, a tablespoon of pepper soup mix is good.
You might want to try;
- 1 Cup Ground Egusi/melon (toasted and dry mill or blend with water)
- The protein of choice (I used beef, ponmo/cow skin)
- ¼ cup shredded dried fish (soaked in hot water and salt)
- 5 pieces Ehuru /calabash nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon Uziza seed
- 3 Uda pods
- 5 Habanero/rodo (adjust to your level tolerance; chopped)
- 2 Teaspoons pepper flakes and ground pepper/ata gigun (each)
- 1 Tablespoon Ground crayfish
- Seasoning powder/cube
- Salt to taste
Gather your ingredients and set aside, toast your melon and dry mill or blend with a small quantity of water.
Clean the meat, boil with onion, seasoning powder and salt. Add water depending on how tough the meat is and cook until tender. If you’re using different parts of the meat cook the toughest first, then add the not too tough later.
Add the ponmo and clean shredded dried fish if you’re using and continue to cook.
While the meat is cooking blend the spices (uda, uziza, ehuru) in a dry ill and sieve if it’s necessary and remove any whole spice that didn’t blend. Clean the pepper and chop them then set aside. If you don't have ehuru, uziza, uda pod you can use pepper soup mix depending on the quantity you're cooking. For this, a tablespoon of pepper soup mix is good.
Add rodo/peppers, crayfish, spices, about 2 cups of water (don't add too much of the proteins you're using is small and vice versa), stir and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the melon with water you don’t want it too watery. Mix until smooth then add to the meat mixture. Cook further until the melon (egusi) is fully cooked. Add more water if you need to because you don’t want it thick or too watery.
Check the seasoning and readjust if necessary. If you like vegetables/herbs in your egusi pepper soup you can add it at the stage and cook for about 2 more minutes, I like it plain so I didn't add any. Good options to add are any of these scent leaves, basil, spinach, okazi, ugwu and many more.
Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy.
You can also enjoy it as it is.
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