A Deliciously Tasty Egusi Okra Soup Recipe

Egusi okra soup is a highly nutritious, traditional West African meal. It’s a guaranteed bowl of tastiness and health that’s sure to fill you up. Most of us are familiar with the tubular flower fruit that is okra. If not, it’s the green fruit (yes fruit) in gumbo.

Egusi is the name for seeds that come from various melons, squash, and gourds. The seeds are dried and ground into a powdery meal like substance to make Egusi, also known as ikon, ahoe, and agushi.

Following the West African culture, people combine these two uniquely flavored ingredients to make a mouthwatering delicious egusi and okra soup.

Egusi Okra Soup Recipe


  • 1-1/2 cups of egusi (we suggest pumpkin, but feel free to choose your own seeds)
  • 1-1/2 cups of fresh, chopped okra
  • 2 pounds of meat ( your choice of beef, chicken, pork)
  • 1 cup of dried fish
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1/2 cup of ground up crayfish
  • 2 finely chopped onions


  1. Boil the meat in enough water to completely cover it. This will become the soup stock later on. Add in the dried fish . Make sure to soak the fish for about 5 minutes to soften it before adding it to the pot.
  2. Add the onions, vegetable, and beef stock cubes, and stir well.
  3. Mix the egusi with some water to make a paste. Add it to the pot, mix, and let it cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the ground crayfish and check the consistency. If needed, add more water if needed.
  5. Finally, add in the okra. Cook until it becomes an emerald green (about 4 minutes). Be careful not to overcook the okra.

Is Egusi and Okra Soup Healthy?

Most of us have heard of “superfoods” that are just all around awesome for us. Egusi and okra soup definitely fall into that category. It’s a super soup, so to speak. Loaded with minerals and vitamins like:

  • vitamin B1
  • vitamin B2
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • niacin
  • calcium
  • potassium
  • iron
  • zinc

Egusi is said to help the skin and the effects of aging. Research has shown that it helps digestion and can stimulate the appetite of people with cancer and other autoimmune disorders. Okra promotes heart health and can help keep the eyes healthy. Overall, the soup is believed to help with inflammation.

What Goes Well With Egusi Okra Soup Recipe?

West African cuisine is filled with rich flavors and long-standing cultural traditions. Ingredients are taken from the earth to make some of the most mouthwatering and healthy dishes on the planet. These dishes not only go great with egusi and okra soup, but are just as good for you.

1. Fufu

Fufu is made from starchy vegetables like yams, plantains, or cassavas. After it is boiled, the vegetable is then pounded down and made into balls. Fufu is often served with soups or stews and used in place of bread to dip.

2. Fefla

This dip is made with tomatoes, spices, and roasted red peppers. It’s then put on a flat bread to be enjoyed.

3. Kachumbari

This African tomato and onion salad is accented by chili peppers, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

4. Moroccan Roasted Potatoes

Dice the potatoes of your choice, add some olive oil, cumin, paprika, and turmeric and you have a delicious side for your soup.

5. Mealie Bread

This sweet bread is made from mealie (the African version of corn). The corn is creamed before the bread is made. It’s usually served with butter while still hot.

6. Jollof Rice

A spicy tomato based rice dish that is so good that people argue over what region makes the best version.

7. Alloco

What we know as plaintains. The Alloco is fried and served with a spicy chili sauce. It can also be dipped into the soup.

8. Akara/Koose

These bean fritters make a great side to the soup. Cowpeas are ground into flour to make these tasty deep fried treats.

9. Tuwo Shinkafa

Made from boiled rice or corn and made into sticky dumplings, they go great with the egusi okra soup recipe.

10. Abacha

This side is a salad made with cassava, fish, and ground seeds or egusi.

What Are Some Other Delicious West African Soups?

Most people in West Africa have soups and stews as a mainstay of their diet. It’s healthy, hearty, and is just plain yummy. Egusi and okra soup is just one of many awesome soups. Here are some other soups from the region that are also great.

1. Ogbono Soup

This is another soup made with ground seeds. Mango seeds that are loaded with calcium, iron, and potassium make for a healthy one-pot meal.

2. Edikang Ikong Soup

This vegetable soup is made with waterleaf and ugwu leaves.

3. Efo Riro

An iron-rich soup that is super quick and easy. Goat meat is usually added for extra protein.

4. Pepper Soup

This nourishing and spicy soup is great for treating a cold or flu.

5. Banga Soup

A sweet and spicy soup that’s made with seafood and palm nuts. It has an earthy, natural flavor.

6. Beniseed Soup

This flavorful sesame soup is chock full of calcium and iron.

7. Pumpkin Soup

As the name suggests, this soup is made from deseeded, squashed pumpkin and palm oil. It goes great with fufu.

8. Peanut Soup

Made with peanuts, ginger, tomatoes, and rosemary, peanut soup is an iconic African meal that is so full of fantastic flavor you’ll have this soup on heavy rotation.

9. Afia Ofere

This spicy bean soup is one of the few West African soups that does not use palm oil.

10. Yam Pepper Soup

This stockpot delicacy is made from white Luna yams, chili pepper, and meat.

A Few Fun Facts About West African Food

  1. Fruit is one of the most eaten foods in Africa. With apricots, mangos, coconuts, and bananas leading the way.
  2. Nuts are one of the most popular foods in West Africa. They’re found everywhere from kitchen tables to street corner vendors.
  3. Smoking and wood firing of meat is extremely popular.
  4. Goat is a popular recipe ingredient as beef and seafood are quite expensive.
  5. Most West African foods are naturally gluten free.
  6. Spices, especially chili peppers, are used not only for their taste, but also to cool the body down in sweltering heat.
  7. Most homes and restaurants encourage you to eat with your hands. However, they must be clean, dry, never with the left hand, and no licking of the fingers please.

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