Egusi: Africa’s melony condiment

Egusi is typical powder made in Africa to thicken soups and stews and to enhance their flavor and protein. The protein-rich seeds of the Cucurbitaceous plants are grounded together to make a paste. The seeds of melon, gourds, melons and pumpkins are powdered together and added to many West African delicacies, the egusi delicacy ends up looking yellowish-orange in color because of the presence of seeds.

Egusi soup is made of vegetables, celosia, bitter leaf, leafy vegetables and meat with typical seasonings including chilies, onions, fermented beans or iru. The meats that can be used in egusi soup are beef and goat and the fishes that are used in this soup are shrimp and crayfish.

Egusi sauce is made out of onions, palm oil, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and egusi and is poured over, grilled chicken, beef, rice, yams, plantains or fish. In Central Africa’s Congo River region, Egusi is called Mbika. The idea of flavoring the dish with egusi seeds is unique and the strange part of it is fruit condiments are used to flavor dishes, however it is more than edible.

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