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HOW TO COOK (FRYING METHOD), SERVE AND PRESERVE EGUSI SOUP

MAIN INGREDIENTS 
▪Egusi (200g or 2 cups)
▪Meat (of your choice)
▪Palm oil (3 cooking spoons)
▪Stockfish (1 big-sized)
▪Dried or smoked fish
▪Cow skin (kpomo)
▪Crayfish (1 grounded cup)
▪Bitter leaf, uziza leaf or pumpkin leaf
▪Onion (1 big chopped bulb)
▪Peppers (of choice)
▪Stock cubes (of your choice)
▪Salt (to taste)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS
▪Fresh tomatoes (4 big-sized)
▪Ogiri (locust beans) 1 wrap
▪Snails (8 big sized)
▪️Uziza seeds (little)
▪Dried Prawns or shrimps
▪Periwinkles (removed) 1 cup

ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS
▪Dried or smoked fish
▪Meat or fresh fish
▪Dried Prawns or shrimps
▪Red or yellow peppers
▪Fresh or tinned tomato
▪Fresh or dry peppers
▪Shelled or unshelled periwinkles
▪Bitter leaf, pumpkin leaf, Uziza, Okazi leaf or Utazi leaf

METHODS OF PREPARING EGUSI SOUP

There are 2 main methods of preparing egusi soup. 
1. Cooking method
2. Frying method.

The only difference between these two methods is that, in frying method, the egusi is fried in red oil at the beginning of cooking the soup, while in cooking method, the egusi is added at the middle stage of cooking the soup, without frying it.

Cooking method is the original method of cooking this delicious soup while frying method is the modern and sweetest of all the various ways of cooking this popular soup.

The choice is yours, to use any of these methods, but in this recipe, we are using the frying method.

PREPARATION (Before cooking )

•You can grind or blend your egusi seeds with any of the followings such as, dry mill, dry blender, hand grinding machine or you pound it.

•Blend the pepper, onion and fresh tomatoes together and pour through a sieve to remove any excess water. This can only be done, when you want to fry the egusi.

•Slice onion into 3 parts. Use one part to steam the meat, some to blend with the fresh pepper and the rest to be used to fry with the egusi. This can only be done, when you want to fry the egusi soup.

•Mix with your spoon, your onion, ground crayfish, ground pepper, and the ground/blended egusi with little water, to form paste ( thick consistency ) and set aside.

•Pluck, wash, and shred your vegetable leaves.

•Wash the periwinkles, dried fish, smoked fish, stockfish, kpomo, and other ingredients thoroughly, rinse and set aside.

•Parboil your meat and other protein ingredients.

FRYING METHOD

Step 1: Pour your palm oil to fry this egusi into a dry cooking pot, and once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and ogiri/locust beans and fry until the onion becomes translucent.
Note: You can add the locust beans later, without frying it.

Step 2: Add in the blender tomatoes mixture, and stir. Fry on medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes and continuously be stirring it to avoid burning.

Step 3: Add in the egusi paste mixture bit by bit into the cooking pot and let it fry for about 7 to 12 minutes on low heat. The egusi will suck all the oil.

Step 4: Add in the meat/fish stock bit by bit and stir, so that the egusi does not burn, cover and allow to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
Note: When the meat stock is exhausted and you feel that the soup is still thick, you can start, by adding hot water in it, bit by bit, till you get the consistency of your choice.

Step 5: Add in your steamed meat/fish and other protein ingredients.

Step 6: If your choice of vegetable is bitter leaf, add it at this time/point and cover for 5 minutes without stirring it.

Step 7: Add in your steamed smoked fish or dried fish at this point, so as, it wouldn’t scatter quick in the soup.

Step 8: Add in the ground crayfish, pepper to taste, and periwinkles and stir well.

Step 9: Taste for salt and other spices.

Note: The egusi is done when you notice that the oil has separated from the egusi, and moved to the surface of the soup.

Step 10: If you are using pumpkin leaf ( ugwu leaf ), this is the right time you can add it, cover the pot and allow to simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
Note: Always make sure you cook your pumpkin leaf half done.

Step 11: Turn off the heat and your egusi soup is ready.

HOW TO SERVE EGUSI SOUP

Your egusi soup can be served with either garri, fufu, pounded yam, semolina, semovita or boiled white rice.

PRESERVING EGUSI SOUP

The only way of preserving your egusi soup is to put it in plastic containers and put in your fridge/freezer, but freezer is more preferable.

Notes & Tips:

  1. Whenever you are using blender to blend the egusi, add it small water, crayfish and onion.

2. Make sure you fry or cook your egusi soup on medium to low heat.

3. It takes like 30 minutes to cook egusi soup properly, or else the soup will not test well.

4. Fry your onion and locust beans together, so that the flavour of the locust beans can be released inside the oil.

5. If you are using bitter leaf, add it a bit earlier because it is a tough vegetable.

6. Ogiri adds a traditional taste to your egusi soup.

7. When the meat stock is exhausted and you feel that the egusi soup is still too thick, you can start adding hot water till you get the consistency of your choice.

8. When cooking this soup, make sure you top up water when necessary.

9. The egusi soup is done when you notice that the oil has separated from the egusi and has come at the surface of the soup.

10. Just like ogbono, you have to be careful with seasoning egusi soup. It is quite sweet and can get salty easily.

11. It is ok to use fresh tomatoes for making egusi soup, if you choose. It is used to brighten the colour of the soup and add more taste to it.

12. If you are using bitter leaf, be sure that the bitter leaf is properly washed. It is advisable to remove over 80 percent of the bitter taste.

Enjoy!

Source: Foodpreneur Network

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