Ilesa, Osun, Nigeria. #JujuFilms
Ipetu-Ijesa, Osun State, Nigeria. #JujuFilms
Erin Oke – Osun State Nigeria
Egusi soup is a kind of soup thickened with the ground seeds popular in West Africa with considerable local variation. Egusi soup typically contains leaf vegetables, other vegetables, seasonings, palm oil and meat.
Typical leaf vegetables for egusi soup include bitterleaf, celosia, spinach and tomatoes. Usual seasonings include chili peppers, onions, and iru (fermented beans).
Typical meats include beef, goat, fish, shrimp, or crayfish which can also be used as seasoning. In Nigeria egusi is very popular among the Igbo ethnic group of Southeastern Nigeria, the Ibibio people and Efik people (the Calabars) of Southern Nigeria and the Yoruba people. Other ethnic groups in Nigeria including the Hausa also use egusi in their local cuisine. Yoruba people in general and the people of Ọṣun State, especially the Ijesa where Iyan & Egusi is a staple.
In the late 1980s the Canadian government funded a project intended to develop a machine to help Cameroonians shell egusi seeds. A machine has already been developed in Nigeria.