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:
How to Make Egusi Pudding
- 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.
*This recipe has been updated.
Gloria Okaiman says
Wow am so gonna try this. Chai am salivating already.
Grace Y says
Wow I made mine and so enjoyed it. Ate with cornmeal .
Glad you loved it, Gloria!
Precious Nkeih says
You should oo. Takes Egusi to a whole new level
Ayandola Ayanleke says
This is a whole new one, looks him.
person wey yi nover try this egusi pudding recipe na yi di miss oo
Precious this came out so good.My hubby has been asking for it since the last time i did it.Thnaks so much
Very nice sis but I think u could add a little bit of vegetable oil in the mixture or lace the leaves by brushing oil on it so the pudding doesn't stick to it when ready.
Thanks for sharing, sis.
Precious Nkeih says
No be so? Thanks for the awesome feedback hun!
Precious, thank you so much for the recipe, am so gonna try it, wow.
You're most welcome, Erinma!
Please let me know how it goes.
Hi Precious, how do I keep the egusi pudding from tasting bitter?
Chaii aunty precious, thank you so much for these recipes. My cooking has improved a lot. Keep up
Awww you are welcome, Mariette.
Good to see Cameroonian dishes on display . Very appetizing. Just a suggestion - use baking paper , it is what I use, instead of aluminum foils or plastic (these are dangerous to the health )
Thanks dear! Are you referring to parchment paper?
I am cooking this recipe right now.
Will load photos
Yay! Waiting for feedback, dear.
Marvis Seche says
Precious Precious Precious!!! That was 3 times ?
So I FINALLY made your egusi paddy and gosh is it good!!! I used my Meat stock instead of water and I was lucky to find plantain leaves and that gave it that unique smell and taste that only plantain leaves can give. It is so yummy(as you usually say) that i had to eat and pick up all the small bits of egusi that squeezed between the leaves.
This is my first time of making egusi pudding and it definitely wouldn't be the last.
Hahaha Marvis, you are so funny! Egusi pudding cooked in plantain leaves is life! Thanks for the feedback girl!
This is so interesting looking. I have always associated egusi with soups,to think that it can be a pudding too. Nice one sis.
Thank you, sis! The pudding is so good!
Crazy love for the patience and the amazing photography. Sometimes you need that high end photo quality to make the audience see exactly how attractive the food also looks
Thanks so much Gerard! Yes, photography matters - so I can show how yummy the food is. Thank you!
Oladosu faith says
Wow, looks so good. I will have to try it over the weekend.
Please let me know how it goes, Faith!
woow,thanks PRECIOUS for this wonderful recipe.
You are welcome, Kathleen!
can i add oil to it?
Yes you can if you so wish.
Chioma Oben says
Isn't there a type of e pudding that is baked/roasted?
Yes, sometimes I put in an oven safe bowl, cover with foil paper and bake. Also, sometimes already cooked egusi pudding is slightly grilled (while still in the leaves) to yield a nice smoky flavor and a crispy coating.
Aunty precious those pice you wrote there I don't know them a picture might help
Hi dear, which spices are you referring to?
Hi Precious, do you think it can be wrapped in Parchment baking paper as well? And what makes you decide to put more or less water, would it just have a different texture? Thanks
Hi Claudia, yes you can totally wrap it in parchment paper. I have never tried it but I've seen pictures of egusi pudding cooked in parchment following my recipe. And it looked great! However, I will say reduce the liquid by half cup so it is not too runny. Hope this helps.
M Ebot says
I am speechless and grateful for this fine work.
What brand of blender did you use?
Hi Ebot, I use a Ninja blender. You can get it from amazon.com.
Wow thanks alot aunty Precious, am going right away to my kitchen
Please let me know how it goes.
Please can one use green egusi?
Yes you can, dear. It might look a little green but that's okay.
Aisha Jafaar Suleiman says
Love your presentation. l would like to purchase the blender.
It's a great blender, Aisha! It is called a Ninja and you can get it from amazon.com.
Nice recipe. But I thought you will show us how to use aluminum aluminum foil because leaves are scarce here. Thanks
Hi Barbie, using foil is quite easy. First, make sure you use high-quality foil - one that is thick and doesn't break easily. Cut the foil into large rectangles and wrap your egusi pudding mixture in it. Double the foil so in case of any leaks you have extra coverage. Hope this helps.
A real African delicacy. One of the best.
aishatu yakubu says
Hmm yummy am so in love with this chef
this is so mouth watering ill have to do this for feast of tabaskyi insha allah..
Glad you love it!
Thanks again Precious pls can one put in small bush pepper in your egusi pudding
Yes, you can do that for some awesome extra flavor!
I cant wait to prepare for my self oh
Hope you enjoy, dear!
Can you please post an oven baked option for egusi pudding, koki beans and koki corn? Will really appreciate it. Instructions will be appreciated if you don't plan on doing the whole recipe. Thank you Edna
Hi Edna, generously oil small oven safe bowls. Pour in your mixture to fill 2/3 of each bowl. Cut out aluminum foil to sizes that will cover the bowls. Brush oil on the side that will cover the bowls. Cover each bowl with foil. Place bowls on a large tray and bake at 350 degrees (180 degrees C) for 1 hour. Check if it is ready after this then you can leave it in the to bake more as needed until done. Hope this helps, dear.
Thanks for this recipe, Please I didn't understand about the bowls. at there bowls known as oil small oven bowls or you meant I should apply some oil in oven bowls please.
I mean you should rub oil on small oven bowls. Hope this helps.
Is there any option to leave out the fish? I'm vegetarian.
I love eating pumpkin seeds like sunflower seeds as a snack when reading or watching something, so a dish made with them sounds delightful.
But I'm German in a smaller city, so it's not possible for me to buy the leafs to steam unless I travel an hour into the next metropolitan area that has shops for the Asian and African diaspora that sell frozen banana leaves and such.
I might try to use thin rice paper as an edible alternative
Hi Kat you can leave out the fish. You can also put the mixture in small oven safe bowls (ramekins), place them on a baking sheet, add water to the baking sheet and steam in the oven. Hope this helps.
This is definitely one of my favorite Cameroonian dish, thanks alot for sharing. I had a question please, can you freeze egusi pudding and if yes for how long?
Hi Kassandra, yes you can. I would freeze it for a month or two.
Please dear can I use fresh pepper to prepare the pudding?
Hi Onyi, yes you can.
Thanks for the recipe. I'm from Germany and my Boyfriend from Cameroon. He looooves Egusi Pudding. I will surprise him with the Egusi. But I didn't get Egusi, just normal Pumkinseeds. My question is if I can make this recipe how it is or must ad one egg more??
( sorry for my english, I hope you understand)
Hi Sarah, are you asking if you must add the egg? Just so you know the egg is optional.
Am definitely trying this one too for Xmas!!! Thank you mummy P
i have been enjoying your recipes for years now.Thank you so much for being consistent.
One think which has always had me confused is; when doing your measurements, using the metric system, how how much in grams (g) is a cup.
Looking forward to your reply