Egusi is a seed that comes from a type of pumpkin/melon. It is usually in a yellowish-orange shell, which when cracked open, reveals a white seed. This highly valued seed, egusi is also known as melon seeds or pumpkin seeds.
In some parts of Africa, egusi can be cooked with green leafy vegetables or used to make soups and stews. One of my all-time favourite Egusi dishes is the Nigerian Egusi soup cooked with sprinkles of bitterleaf and eaten with Eba or Poundo (Pounded Yam). However, Egusi Pudding remains top on my list. I could give an arm for a slice of Egusi Pudding... and I won't be guilty because it is so healthy.
Watch how to make Egusi Pudding:
Egusi pudding is a savoury meal made with melon seeds and typically eaten in Cameroon, West Africa. The seeds are blended, mixed with other ingredients and steamed. Insanely delicious!
- 3 cups of Egusi
- ½ cup crayfish- ground
- 1 cup smoked meat of choice or fish-sliced (options include beef, dried or smoked fish of choice, boiled chicken or smoked turkey) I used smoked beef and chicken
- 2 cups water
- ½ large crayfish seasoning cube
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg optional
- 1 ground hot pepper - habanero, scotch bonnet or chili
Put the seeds into a blender and grind. Please note that this is dry blending so you do not need to add water. I normally use the small compartment of my blender because it grinds seeds finely and doesn't leave me with an unevenly ground mixture. I blend a little at a time.
Pour ground Egusi into a bowl. Use a wooden spoon to break down chunks if any. Add in ground crayfish, pepper and seasoning (salt and maggi)
Add in three quarters of the water and mix into a smooth paste. If you put in all the water at once, it may be very difficult to mix into a smooth paste. Add in the remaining water and mix well.
Add in your egg and mix well.
Add in your dry (or smoked fish) and shredded chicken (or beef) then stir to incorporate.
Line your pot with some banana leaves or aluminium foil to create a base for steaming. (Please see video for how I do this).
Pour two cups of water into pot and place on medium heat.
Place a banana leave into a deep bowl and push the centre to make sure it is indented. Add another banana leave across the banana leave. Pour two scoops (about 2 large ice cream scoops) of the mixture into the leaves. Gather together carefully to ensure mixture is secure then tie with a kitchen wrap or any plastic bag transformed into a tie. If using aluminium foil, you do not need to tie - just gather the ends of the foil together after pouring in your mixture and press to secure.
Place every bundle into prepare pot. repeat process with the rest of the mixture.
When done wrapping, cover all your bundles with another banana leaf or foil so the steam doesn't escape. Let it cook for about 60 minutes. Check to add water every 10 minutes so it doesn't burn burn. Be careful not to add a lot of water. You only need 1-2 cups at a time.
After about an hour or more, your pudding should be ready. Remove, unwrap, and enjoy!
You can enjoy as it is or with a boiled starchy side of choice. I love it with boiled ripe plantains! Boiled yams, cassava(yuca) or bobolo/miondo (steamed fermented cassava) are other good options.
1. If you are a ginger and garlic person, feel free to throw in a teaspoon of the blended spices. It doesn't hurt... rather helps to keep the doctors away.