This exquisite dish is a specialty in West Africa-specifically Nigeria and I guarantee you that when you taste this, you may almost bite your fingers while eating it especially if you’re eating it with your fingers. Eating with your fingers is not uncommon in Nigeria when eating “okele” – solid Nigerian meals often accompanied with some sort of stew or soup. Okeles are dough like consistency and some of the common ones are okeles are pounded yam, fufu, eba (cassava based), etc. The name of this stew is derived from its main ingredient – egusi (melon seeds – and not your watermelon seeds) which is rich in proteins and vitamins. I picked this up at the African Food Market but if you can’t find an African market in your town, this can easily be substituted with pumpkin seeds – I also found out that amazon also sells Egusi too- check it out here: Egusi on Amazon So here’s is my preeti spin on this Nigerian delicacy.
What’s in this delicacy:
- 3/4 Cups of Ground Melon Seeds
- 2 Large Red Bell Peppers
- 3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers
- 2 Plum Tomatoes – Cut in half
- 3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
- 1 Large Onion – Peeled and cut into quarters
- 1 Garlic Clove-Peeled
- 1/4 Cup of Palm Kernel Oil
- 1/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
- 2 Maggi Seasoning Cubes
- 1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt
- 24 oz of Chopped Spinach
- 30 oz of Chopped Kale
How to Make this delicacy:
- You can sometimes buy the melon seeds (Egusi) grounded and sometimes, it’s not, so if it isn’t, place melon or pumpkin seeds in blender for less than a minute and blend till mixture is in a powder consistency, then set aside.
- Add peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, and garlic to blender and blend until smooth and set aside.
- In a Large sauce pan, add vegetable oil and palm kernel oil, heat the oil for about 2 minutes, the add the pepper and tomato mix to the hot oil. Add, Stir the pepper and tomato mix and then add in Maggi seasoning cubes and salt to taste. Stir in blended melon seeds (egusi) and simmer 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes of simmering, add chopped spinach and kale to the Egusi mix and stir then let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Egusi stew is now ready to be served with your favorite dish whether be it fufu, pounded yam, rice or you simply want to enjoy it by itself.