Nigeria: How to Make Egusi Soup and Fufu (Pounded Yam)

About Egusi Soup and Fufu (Pounded Yam)

Egusi soup is popular in Western Africa. The soup is thickened with ground melon, gourd, or squash seeds. Pounded yam is a popular African dish similar to mashed potatoes but heavier. Pounded Yam is very smooth and tasty. It is often eaten with vegetable soup. Egusi soup and pounded yam is traditionally eaten with hands.

(Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and Vegan Option Available)


Egusi Soup

  • 4 tomatoes 
  • 2 bell peppers 
  • 2 red onions 
  • 2 tbsp red oil
  • 2 cups ground pumpkin seeds
  • 2 dried fish
  • 2 tsp crayfish
  • 1 pound chicken
  • 1 pound beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 3 cubes Maggi (sub for veg bouillon)
  • seasoning salt to taste

 (Sub meat and fish for plant-based proteins, tofu for veg option)

Fufu (pounded yam)

  • 2 cups yam flour 
  • 2 cups water


Egusi Soup:

Step 1 
Chop tomatoes, pepper and onions. Blend together in a blender. 

Step 2
In a pot, pour the red oil, and add the blended tomatoes, peppers and onions. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the boiled chicken.

Step 3
Add the beef and chicken. Cook for another 15- 20 minutes.

Step 4
Add the crayfish, Maggie cube, salt, ground pumpkin seeds, and the dry fish. Cook for another 6 minutes.

Step 5
Add the spinach at the end and cook for five minutes.

Step 6
Serve with fufu.

Fufu (Pounded Yam):

Step 1
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.

Step 2
Gradually add two cups of yam flour, stirring it until it becomes dough.

Step 3
Dip in Egusi soup. Enjoy eating with your hands!


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About Nigeria

Nigeria, country located on the western coast of Africa. Nigeria has a diverse geography, with climates ranging from arid to humid equatorial. However, Nigeria’s most diverse feature is its people. Hundreds of languages are spoken in the country, including Yoruba, Igbo, Fula, Hausa, Edo, Ibibio, Tiv, and English. The country has abundant natural resources, notably large deposits of petroleum and natural gas.


The country has 527 languages, seven of them are extinct. Nigeria also has over 1150 dialects and ethnic groups. The six largest ethnic groups are the Hausa and Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the southeast, and the Yoruba predominate in the southwest, the Tiv people of North Central Nigeria and the Efik - Ibibio. The Edo people are most frequent in the region between Yorubaland and Igboland. Many of the Edo tend to be Christian. This group is followed by the Ibibio/Annang/Efik people of the coastal south southern Nigeria and the Ijaw of the Niger Delta.


Nigerian cuisine consists of dishes or food items from the hundreds of ethnic groups that comprise Nigeria. Like other West African cuisines, it uses spices and herbs with palm or groundnut oil to create deeply flavored sauces and soups. Nigerian feasts are colourful and lavish, while aromatic market and roadside snacks cooked on barbecues or fried in oil are in abundance and varied.

Pounded yam is one of Nigeria's most popular dishes that can be served with a variety of soups like Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable and Okro soup. Yam, which is widely available, is boiled and pounded into a smooth mash. You'll most likely find people eating pounded yam with Egusi, Banga, Ogbono or some other meal.


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