Egusi Stew – I like to give a summary of what Egusi is before I proceed with the recipe for the sake of our friends that are not familiar with it.
Egusi belongs to the Gourd family. It looks everything like Watermelon on the outside but the inside is quite different. Unlike Watermelon, Egusi melon has a bitter white flesh but the seeds are used for quite a number of recipes in Africa especially West African countries.
Nigeran Egusi Soup
Egusi has a very high nutritional value – about 50 percent of healthy Fats,(unsaturated fats and cholesterol free ) 30 percent protein and lots of Vitamins. Isn’t that amazing?- This research is actually contrary to what we grew up hearing about Egusi but I won’t bore you with my story today.
There is just something about Egusi stew that makes it irresistible for most people; maybe it’s the smell of the freshly prepared Egusi stew, or the appearance or the exotic taste…Maybe when you try the recipe you will let me know?
P.s It’s good to use locust bean for this recipe although I did not use it because I don’t have it at hand as at the time I was preparing this recipe also my kids???.. I want them to eat it.
Pour the Egusi Melon and one diced Onion in a bowl and use your hands to massage the Onions with the Egusi. This will infuse some onion flavor into the Egusi and the Oil in the Egusi will also be activated.
Add Water and mix together to form a paste and set aside
Add some Oil in a Pan, enough to deep fry the Egusi and fry for about 4 mins turning halfway through on a medium heat (don't over fry this else you'll get a crunchy melon) - You will literally see the Egusi curdle up straightaway
Remove from heat and drain the Oil (You don't need all that Oil) and set aside
Add a little Palm Oil in another Pan (I used part of the Oil I drained from the Egusi) and add the second Onion (diced) and let that cook for a couple of seconds then add the Sauce and also allow that to cook for 5 minutes. - I used a precooked Sauce and I put the link to that above.
Add the Crayfish, Salt to taste, Stock cubes, Smoked Fish (you can add that later if you do't want the Fish broken into pieces) and Stock.
Now add the fried Egusi to the sauce and allow it to cook for 20 minutes on a low to medium heat - check this constantly to avoid burning and add Water or stock if it's getting too dry.
Finally, add the Spinach or your choice of Vegetables with Meat or Fish and leave it to simmer for 5 minutes more or less depending on how tough or soft your vegetable is and Enjoy.