How To Make Pumpkin Seed (egusi) and Bitterleaf Soup | FOODSTANTLY

Egusi soup like every normal Naija soup is just one delight to behold and even more heavenly to taste. Asides it’s numerous nutritional values, this soup is totally versatile. Different tribes in Nigeria have their special way of cooking Egusi, and it always turns out right. Today I am going to be teaching you how to prepare Egusi soup with bitter leaf. While most people prefer pumpkin leaves (Ugwu) to bitterleaf, I am using bitterleaf, because it is not just nutritious and serve as a form of purgative, it gives your soup a mature bitter taste, and thus can be referred to as “the soup for mature minds”. LOL.

That aside, let’s jump straight into the recipe. Shall we?

Serves: 5
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Meal type: Main
Misc.: Serve hot


  • 2-3 handful of bitter leaves (washed)



  • 1 1/2 cups of egusi (blended dry)



  • 3 cooking spoons of palm oil (you can use less or more)


  • 1 kg of beef (cut into chunks)



  • 5 soft rolls of ponmo (cut into small pieces)



  • Grounded pepper (Quantity enough to cook the food)


  • 1 medium size onion



  • 5 pieces of stockfish



  • 1 large smoked fish (cut into chunks)

  • 1 cup of periwinkles (removed from the shell)

  • 3 tbsp. of crayfish (blended dry)



  • Seasoning cubes

  • Salt to taste




Preparation process:

  • Cook the meat chunks in water with onion slices, seasoning cubes and salt for 15 minutes. Then add the stockfish and cook until the meat is done. This is to soften the fish.

  • Soak the blended egusi with water in a bowl and set aside until needed.

  • When the meat and fish are really soft, add just about enough water to cook the soup into the pot. Pour your required amount of palm oil into the pot and close up.

  • Leave the solution to boil for about 3 minutes, then add your egusi, pepper and grounded crayfish into the pot.

  • Stir to mix the mixture properly, then cover and allow to boil.

  • After boiling for like five minutes, check to see if the mixture of way too thick or just about the kind of thickness you want. If to thick, add a little water.

  • At this point, add your ponmo, periwinkle, and smoked fish. Add your seasoning and salt to taste. Stir and leave to boil again.

  • After boiling for another five minutes, add your already washed bitterleaf to the mixture.

  • Note that you have to wash your bitterleaf properly, at least so it doesn’t become bitter than you originally planned for, thereby ruining your food.

  • Also note that, when you put in the bitterleaf, you do not stir. Cover the pot and let it simmer a while before stirring. This is the avoid the entire soup turning bitter automatically.

  • Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for three minutes.

  • After three minutes, stir the soup and check for salt or pepper or any other seasoning whose holy presence, might be lacking. LOL

  • If they all taste right, it means you did a good job!

  • Finally, turn off the gas or stove, open your pot slightly to let the heat out.

  • Serve with a plate of fufu, garri, semo or even amala.

Bon Appetite!

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