Egusi Soup

Egusi soup is unarguably the most popular Nigerian soup. In my few years as a food blogger and Nigerian food lover, I have learned that different recipes exist across different Nigerian ethnic groups.

The Yorubas make efo elegusi while the Igbos make ofe egusi, all with similar ingredients but with slightly different approaches.

This is a comprehensive recipe for the best kind – egusi soup with lumps… the kind you only get to eat when you visit a 5-star restaurant or hotel 😀

Like I stated on the introductory page; Egusi (melon) soup is the most popular of all Nigerian soup. On this page, I also included a video recipe for this soup and then a list of some other Nigerian soups that are in the same category as this yummy soup.

What you find below is a delicious plate of egusi soup and fufu, a popular Nigeria combination.
Delicious Egusi Soup

Complete Ingredients For Egusi Soup

Serving: 12

2KG Assorted meat
4 cups of egusi (melon)
Roasted fish (about two medium sizes)
1 cup of ground crayfish
2 cups of washed bitter leaves
3 seasoning cubes
300ml of palm oil
About 2 liters of water
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste (scotch bonnet).
One medium-sized Stock fish head (okporoko)
20g Dawadawa or opkei (local ingredients)

The above-listed ingredients will make a large pot of egusi soup, see the bottom of this page. This soup will serve a family of 4 three times. You can always refrigerate leftovers.

This recipe shows you how to prepare Egusi soup with lumps, the kind you only find in posh restaurants and eateries.


Grind the four cups of egusi with a dry blender or hand grinding machine and set aside in a bowl. Add about a cup of water to it and stir to make a very thick paste as you can see below.

Be sure that the bitter leaves (onugbu) are properly washed, it is advisable to remove over 95 percent of the bitter taste, this process is known to most Nigerians, it involves washing and squeezing the bitter leaves for several minutes in a very big bowl.

If you bought the already-washed bitter leaves from the market already, it is advisable to boil alone for about ten minutes, this would further remove the bitter taste and serve other purposes.

Parboil the meat with all the necessary ingredients, it is advisable to parboil meat with some ingredient before adding to the main food, this improves the taste of the meat.

Parboil for about ten minutes, then add water and cook till the meat is tender and the stock (water) is about to dry. Use two seasoning cubes, a teaspoon of salt and a half cup of sliced onions.

Pour hot water over the stockfish in a bowl and wash thoroughly to remove sand, then set aside. Also remove center bone from the roasted fishes, wash and set aside too.
Ingredients efo elegusi

How to make Egusi Soup with Bitterleaf

Set your cooking pot on the fire and add 300ml of palm oil (red oil), allow to heat for a minute but don’t allow to bleach. Add the egusi paste and keep stirring for the next eight to ten minutes to form seed-like crumbs. See the image below.
Frying Egusi

Then transfer the already cooked meat into the pot, stir.
making egusi soup

Add the washed dry fish, stockfish, ground crayfish, a seasoning cube, ground scotch bonnet pepper and 6 cups of water. then cover half way and allow to boil for the next ten minutes.

Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

Add the already washed bitter leaves, one spoon of ground dawadawa (local ingredients), taste for salt and pepper.
how to make egusi

Allow to boils for ten minutes, stir every 3 minutes and you just made a delicious pot of egusi soup.
Melon Egusi Soup

This is how you make the best Egusi soup with lumps, the kind you only find in posh restaurants and eateries. 😀

You can serve with eba or fufu, in fact, any one of the Nigerian swallows will make a great combination

What is Nigerian swallow? Learn all about it and all other ‘swallow recipes’

I also enjoy eating this soup and pounded yam together.

Egusi Soup and Pounded yam

The most popular way to serve this soup is to pair with pounded yam. If you are desiring a delicious plate of egusi soups and pounded yam, you will have to prepare them separately.

Follow the recipe on this page to make the soup.

Pounded yam is just boiled yam that underwent the process pounding 😀

Recipes exist that have taken away the strenuous process of pounding. I learned you could make pounded yam with blenders or just buy yam flour and do it the easy way.

Here is the recipe for Pounded Yam

When you are done, you can serve both together.

Note: This soup can also be made with fluted pumpkin, the same process should be followed the only different is that bitter leaves should be replaced with fluted pumpkin leaves

Video For Efo Elegusi (Yoruba)

Here is a visual demonstration of the method outlined above, enjoy!

A combination of Ofe Egusi and Pounded Yam would be perfect for lunch

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Egusi Soup Recipe

Egusi Soup Recipe

Chy Anegbu
Egusi soup is the most popular soup in Nigeria, this recipe shows you how to make the most delicious kind... the kind of egusi soup with lumps.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 12 People
Calories 670 kcal


  • Cooker
  • Pots


  • 2 KG Assorted meat
  • 4 cups of egusi melon
  • Roasted Mackrel about two medium sizes
  • Half cup of ground crayfish
  • 2 cups of washed bitter leaves
  • 3 seasoning cubes
  • 300 ml of palm oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste scotch bonnet.
  • One medium-sized Stock fish head okporoko
  • 20 g Dawadawa or opkei local ingredients


  • Set a cooking pot on heat and allow drying. add the palm oil and allow to heat for 2 minutes but don't let it bleach.
  • Disolve the egusi seeds in a cup of water and add to the heated oil
  • Fry the dissolved egusi seeds in palm oil for the next 8-10 minutes. Always stir to avoid burning it.
  • Once the egusi is fried, add 6 cups of water, the cooked meat, stir. add the roasted fish, stockfish, ground crayfish, a seasoning cube, ground scotch bonnet pepper then cover and allow to boil for the next ten minutes.
  • Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Add the already washed bitter leaves, one spoon of ground dawadawa (local ingredients), taste for salt and pepper.
  • Allow to boils for ten minutes, stir in between.
  • Serve Egusi soup and garri (eba), alternatively, you could serve with pounded yam.
  • This is how you make the best Egusi soup with lumps, the kind you only find in posh restaurants and eateries. ?


Keyword Efo Elegusi, Egusi soup recipe, Ofe egusi

Here is The complete List of All Nigerian Soups

Return to Homepage – All Nigerian Foods


  1. The Nigerian Kitchen  July 10, 2013

    Do you think this soup is the most popular in Nigeria?

    • Dele Abiodun  April 28, 2017

      How much is the Ultimate Nigerian Cook Book? I want to buy one

    • Favourbby  December 5, 2017

      I tink is very to its delicious teste.

  2. Akana Ogechi  July 15, 2013

    i need how cook delicious plenty Egusi soup for my wedding. thanks

  3. Ade  July 16, 2013

    In fact, u are great!
    it’s not that I can’t prepare food but I believe dat will lean everyday. And from what I am reading on this site I believe indeed that you are superb.
    Keep the ball rolling. God is ur strength.

    • Ogwumagana  June 2, 2019

      Ade, say the truth and shame the devil… You don’t know how to cool, simple. Come and beat me, I dey my village.

  4. Geoffrey.Nwogu  August 1, 2013

    Thanks for your courageous undertaking putting together this great food blog. It is a great expose of one of the most important aspects of African civilization. Our cuisines is second to none in the world and I thank you for opening it up to the world. I like egusi soup too, Thanks for a nice job.

  5. Cathy  September 12, 2013

    Thanks for the egusi soup recipe, thank God i got ur page. Cos i have lean alot from u. God blesss

  6. fortunate  September 18, 2013

    I have learned a lot on how to make egusi soup,I am a south african woman married to a nigerian man.It was a challenge for me to cook for him coz he doesn’t like my food,but now am glad I know

  7. balo  November 3, 2013

    thanks alot.God bless you nd increase your talent.

  8. princess olamide  November 14, 2013

    Wow am so happy to know how to prepare Egusi soup now thanks for the good work

  9. susy  November 27, 2013

    The soup turned out great. Keep doing the good work. Thanks

  10. tessy awu  January 16, 2014

    Thanks so much.for this wonderful site.You are blessed! Pls I want to be receiving newslettes frm u on diff kinds of recipe.God bless u and keep the good work.

  11. Ezi Catherine Ukoh  January 27, 2014

    Thank you for the recipe. In Malaysia, it is kinda hard to get the ingredients, but I will try to get them as per recipe. My husband loves this egusi soup very much.

  12. Gift  March 19, 2014

    really nice!!! i want to know why you didnt use fresh tomatoes and pepper, i think it improves the taste.

  13. Chy Anegbu  March 26, 2014

    Gift, thanks for your comment. I used fresh pepper, you can also add tomatoes if you like the taste

  14. alva cadle  April 9, 2014

    Im grateful for this blog cause my guy is Igbo and he cant stomach my type of food much, tho he tries. Now I am surprizing him with many dishes.

  15. Chy Anegbu  April 10, 2014

    Alva, thanks for your comment

  16. Oluwazobam  April 21, 2014

    Chy may God keep strengthening you….Amen #great dish

  17. kelechi  June 13, 2014

    I just followed the direction and I cooked egusi soup made with ugwu for the first time. Thanks a lot, you have made me proud of myself.

  18. as a bee  July 29, 2014

    You are doing a great job. Seriously! Keep it up and thank you. One pot of egusi coming up now!

  19. chinenye luke  September 24, 2014

    M so proud 2 b part of u guyz,I ve learn’t alot

  20. Nikki Grace  October 3, 2014

    Yea its great! Keep up the good work.I luv the taste more wen u add 2 big bulbs of onions (blended). Eww 2 d tomatoes!

  21. Taiwo Osakwe  November 30, 2014

    Wow! A different method from what I know n grew up knowing. Thank you.

  22. meggie  December 13, 2014

    Thank you am Ethiopian dating a Seirra leon men, i made eguzi soup before once…he ate it but of course it was far from being perfect….am only concerned about bitter leave where i can find it….i used spinach before….i am asking around where to find it…thx alot….tomorrow my baby is going to be surprised.

  23. Euny  December 15, 2014

    Anoda way i make my eguisi soup is by adding raw eggs to the grounded eguisi before frying, u should try it, it tastes great!

  24. adolf  January 7, 2015

    It’s always a delight reading your page. Could you please use lay estimates for your measures such as one or two spoonfuls as opposed to 5 to 10 cl. I believe most of your followers would benefit more that way . More power to your elbow.

    • Chy Anegbu  January 10, 2015

      We measure some spices with spoons but liquid can not be counted in spoon… easily. However, I have edited most of my pages the include the equivalent in cups and spoons.

  25. santus  January 26, 2015

    You are just nwa afo Igbo and doing a great job.I am happy to be part of this.keep the good work,thumbs up.

  26. Faithia osawaru  March 15, 2015

    Interesting Chy. I just ordered for ur books which I got within three days in warri. In short I are really gifted. God bless u

    • Chy Anegbu  March 17, 2015

      Thanks for reporting dear, I am glad you got your cookbook without hassle.

  27. endurance  June 3, 2015


    • Claire  June 4, 2020

      Since some recipes have no universal English names, this may be hard to pull off in other localities like here in Uganda

  28. king Marvis  June 16, 2015

    Aaaaaaaa tanks a lot…I just cook egusi soup and my America friends are going crazy….

  29. nath  July 2, 2015

    The site is damn help to whoever like kichen…
    I have learned a lot ..
    Iam a chef .
    I have gone above others with this page..
    Nuch love to the developer .

  30. Philip Kingsley  August 10, 2015

    I’ll try it out now.
    Last week I tried your okra recipe and the soup turned out delicious.
    Keep it up

  31. Ifeoluwa  August 12, 2015

    Its a great priviledge to av u as frnds. So keep it up cos it helps most wives to bcom an experrt cooker.thanks

  32. ivymariea  August 16, 2015

    for my egusi soup I use either bitterleave/ ugu/ or uziza and otazi
    you can try it with uziza. it comes out great and lovely.

  33. Arhueruduvwo Philemon  August 19, 2015

    Dear you are wonderful for your detail explanation, but my favourite dish is banga soup.

  34. Eloho  August 26, 2015

    i jt want to thk u alot for i hv learn alot on ur program

  35. Omoruyi bolanle  August 27, 2015

    You are such an amazing cook, I love how you make egusi soup, u’ve got so much swags!!!!!! Good job. I’m glad I dotted all the lines to hook up site. Great way to go all the way in steps. Thumb up for u.

  36. Enitee  September 23, 2015

    You are doing a great job dear. You are just the best cook jooor!

  37. LINDAMARY  October 2, 2015

    I do much love this ur recipes and my husband did too

  38. Dora  October 10, 2015

    Nice one chy! I have always loved to make my egusi soup to come out with balls, will that happen if I follow this recipe? And how do I order for your recipe book? Nice job, weldone!

  39. joseph  October 23, 2015

    i like it and i av learn alot also u are great keepon

  40. o.j  March 18, 2016

    thanks a lot, if not for u my visitors will not eat wat they want oo

  41. Hilario  March 25, 2016

    I did as you directed and I made a nice Egusi soup today thanks for your clue I love that

  42. Ahmed Juwaratu  April 3, 2016

    U are great loving this soup remain bless

  43. fatima  April 18, 2016

    thanks for this your site,my family are happy with me for your nice meals.

  44. suzzy  April 18, 2016

    Tanx chi baby, I prepared mine just d way u lectured and it looks exactly like d one in I saw and it was very delicious. God bless u for making me improved in my cooking, my family members are all happy.

  45. Mina  April 19, 2016

    Thanx Chy, but you dint say how the osu will be prepared. When do i add it?

    • Chy Anegbu  April 19, 2016

      @ Mina, just before you add the egusi.

  46. Ogechukwu Angel  April 19, 2016

    Waoooo.Chy dis is really awesome.God bless u for spicing up our homes with different delicacies.U rock.

  47. Tee Okoro  April 20, 2016

    U are indeed a great teacher.thanks so much.

  48. Goodnews  April 26, 2016

    Thanks for improving me on cooking. But pls how do I use tomatoes to cook egusi soup (mellon) pls.

  49. Buchi  May 7, 2016

    Now I’ve got to know why my egusi soup never tasted good. Mehn I love this.
    Please how can I get your cook book and how much is it sold?

  50. swetyzee  May 20, 2016

    Is tomato, papper and onion not need to prepare egusi soup

  51. Zukky  June 4, 2016

    You are doing a good job

  52. Charity Mathias  June 10, 2016

    I just want to thank you a lot for a hav leant a lot through ur page. My d good Lord bless you

  53. Charity Mathias  June 10, 2016

    Thanks a lot

  54. Cecilia  June 12, 2016

    I tried this recipe and it was superb. Thanks a lot ma

  55. BLESSING  June 21, 2016

    thanks ,its delicious have tried it,so superb

  56. Suzannah Francis  July 6, 2016

    absolutely fantastic cuisine! I love Nigerian foods
    thank you for you wonderfull recipes
    after work I will cook the bitter leave dish and
    envite my Nigerian friend to enjoy with me…
    how stunning is this dishes…”dis manjefiek” in Afrikaans!
    love you guys

  57. temmy  July 6, 2016

    I tried the catfish peppersoup recipe and method 2day with much uziza,utazi and scent leaf.It was d best,av never enjoyed p.soup like dat before.U’ll continue 2 grow in wisdom in Jesus name

  58. vina  July 7, 2016

    You are doing a great job. Love the mails u send to me. God bless u

  59. Jane  August 14, 2016

    I tried ur Caribbean rice n my husband loved it. Thank you

  60. Hamza Muhammad  October 5, 2016

    Who said u re not genius. U stand out unique. My mom said am the best cook when I follow ur instructions. Like ur style.

  61. Dae  October 29, 2016

    When do you put the ogiri?

    • Chy Anegbu  November 1, 2016

      Right after the fish and crayfish.

  62. Liz  December 5, 2016

    Really thankful for this recipe, I just used it and it’s my first time and my Egusi tastes good. Although, I think it’s a little salty but it’s good still ?

  63. Chinasa Michael  February 16, 2017

    Yeah! You are great, infact, your cooking method is superb, Keep up the good work.I luv ur style of cooking, pls do send me more on how to cook native soup, i love learn more from you and my God will surely bless u nd ur handwork. Amen! Carry-Go!

  64. Ololade  March 26, 2017

    Wow! Thanks a lot Chy! This instruction is clearly stated but like u said “…Add the egusi paste and keep stirring for the next eight to ten minutes to form seed-like crumbs…” Then when am I suppose to add the pepper? Pls reply. Thanks!

    • Chy Anegbu  March 28, 2017

      You add the pepper after you add the meat, crayfish, then pepper.

      • Ololade  March 30, 2017

        Thanks a lot!!!!
        Up Chy!!!!

  65. Abdul Tajudeen Abiola  July 30, 2017

    How much is the cook book and how can I get it.

    • Chy Anegbu  August 8, 2017

      Please call 08035051468 for the cookbooks.

  66. Lucia ireka offor  September 27, 2018

    Although i know how to prepare egwusi soup but i will try this recipe thanks

    • Ikejoseph  September 26, 2019

      Talk true!! U just learnt it now. Hahahahahaha

  67. City taste  December 5, 2018

    Always proud of been a chef

  68. Anonymous  March 15, 2019

    Nyc big pot of egusi will soon land

  69. hsay  March 22, 2019

    I am a 14 year old nigerian but and live in america, and speak like an american. How do i make egusi soup I have ate it before..

  70. Toni  March 28, 2019

    Please what’s ground osu?

  71. Amarachi  April 27, 2019

    Plz hw cn u use osu to thick ur soup? Tnx alot luv ur blog

    • Chy Anegbu  April 29, 2019

      Same way you use egusi, you ground it. Thanks for asking.

  72. Geoffrey  September 7, 2019

    5 stars
    This is educational! I just ordered for 2 cups of melon ? now & some ingredients. I need to surprise my wife that I can cook egusi soup. Thanks so much ?

  73. Ikejoseph  September 26, 2019

    5 stars
    Woooow!! I love this!!. Can’t wait to get married and show my wife what I just learnt… If she like make she do shakara, I will just enter kitchen and surprise her


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