It’s one thing to stay with mummy in the kitchen when she’s cooking and giving her a hand with getting the things she needs for the food, it’s another thing to do it on your own.

Here I am going to tell you how my first experience with cooking egusi (melon seed soup) was like. 

As I entered school, I told myself I was going to try my hand at cooking different dishes. After all, it would be when I would be on my own. I am a Nigerian, and there are different tribes, the major being Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa. I am a Yoruba girl, and as a result, most of the dishes we eat at home are Yoruba dishes. As I come to school, I know I would be surrounded by different people, and I have a flair to know how to cook different dishes. I am a long way from loving to cook, but I like knowing I can prepare different things, and that once I got tired of cooking a kinda meal, I can just switch. 

Yesterday, I and my mum went to the market to get a few things. We got food stuffs and then some other things I needed for school. I am a Yoruba girl as I already said, and Egusi (melon seed…soup?) is one of our tribal food. (Each tribes have different dishes associated with them, and all tribes eat this particular seed, though it’s called different names,and are prepared in  different ways). We call it Egusi soup, and while we have eaten this several times at home, it was my mum that cooked it. I mean, as a girl, I am always in the kitchen assisting. I got her the things she needed, went on whatever errand to get the food done, ground whatever it is that needed to be, stirred whatever. You get it. 

However, I never altogether did it on my own, and you know the thing where if you feel youve watched it enough once you got your hands on the ingredients that it would turn out great? 

That’s what happened to me. 

Also, my room mate had done this one time, and I watched her very well. I was ready to prepare it on my own. 

I already took the grounded melon seed from home, so at the market we got all the things I would put inside. 

These are the ingredients (I used) to make Egusi soup:

-Grounded melon seed

This is how the melon seed looks like before its grounded. 


You use any kind of fish you wish to use. I used Panla which is also known as hake fish. I used the smoked of it, which is referred to as Eja kika here, and the dried, which is known as stock fish. 

I know it’s not clear, but it’s what I got. This is how the smoked hake fish looks like, what I referred to as Eja kika. It is also known as Eja sisun
This is the dried hake fish, also referred to as stock fish.

-You also need vegetable. I made use of ugwu(pumpkin leaf)

This is how ugwu leaves look like. It’s also referred to as pumpkin leaves.

Not everyone uses vegetable, but it’s good to use it. 

-Palm oil is also used. You can’t use vegetable oil for this. 

-Water. Of course. Can’t get anywhere without it. 

-I used pomo as well. Anyone here know what I’m talking about? 

-You need your salt, and several other seasonings. 


There are several ways this can be achieved, but I am going to explain this how I cooked it yesterday. Bear in mind that the main purpose of this post is to share my experience. 

Before I parted with mummy at the market when she went home and I went back to school, I asked her several questions. I didn’t want to get it wrong. 

Since I wanted to fry it (not the way we cook it at home), you are to put the Palm oil in a pot, just enough that you think would suit the volume of what you’re cooking, then after it has simmered, you put your grounded egusi inside. Now, I had mixed my grounded egusi with water, and it was paste like. As you can see below. 

This is the grounded egusi seed (and cray fish) mixed with little water

It is at this point I begun to be unsure of what I was doing. Initially, I planned to take the picture of every stage, but here, where I begun to think it was going to be a fail, all I concentrated on was reviving it. 

I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to look. Was it supposed to be this way? Was the water I put to mix it too much? I couldn’t remember how it was supposed to look. 

At that stage, I had the thought of just pouring it away and giving up, but I decided against that. I decided to continue never the less. Now, my mind wasn’t so much on making it a blog post. 

As I put it into the hot oil, I kept stirring. It begun to kind of burn, but mummy had already said that was why you kept stirring. It had to fry. At this stage, I realized that the grounded melon seed I had taken was a bit too small, and the pumpkin leaves I had bought were a bit too much. 

I had already decided I wasn’t going to give up. 

When I felt I had stirred enough (honestly I think I was just concerned that if I kept at it no egusi would be left to fryπŸ™ˆ). I then put my already washed pumpkin leaf(just water guys! No soap!) I put it inside, and I begun to stir it in with the egusi. It begun to look pretty good to me. 

I added a little water, left it to boil, and begun to busy myself with bringing out the other things I would need to put in it. The seasonings, washing the fish…e.t.c

I added the different kind of fishes I had bought, put the pomo, my salt and seasoning, and then begin to stir. It looked good, and it smelt good, though the pumpkin leaves were a little more than the egusi. I added more water, let it boil, and felt fulfilled. 

My roomie who I had been telling that I had messed it up, I told her it wasn’t a fail after all. 

I was glad I hadn’t just wasted the egusi, because it turned out good. 

Here is the final result in different anglesπŸ˜›πŸ˜(what?! I was proud of myself) 

The leaves are more than the egusi, and while I prefer when the egusi seed are more than the vegetable, I was short of having them. 

It look good! Tastes even betterπŸ˜πŸ˜›

This is an image of egusi soup that I got from google 

As I said, I am in no way someone who really enjoys cooking, but I am going to be trying my hand at different delicases and I will be sharing it here with you. 

I know this is not really a comprehensive D.I.Y, but I really just wanted to share my experience. 


It is botanically known as citrullus colocynthis (Curcurbita citrullus Δ½. Or citrullus lanathus Thumb), and belongs to the cucurbitaceae family. It is known as bitter cucumber, pumpkin seed, egusi melon, vine of Sodom plant, wild gourd, colocynthis, or desert gourd.

It is originally from Africa, Mediterranean region and Asia, and the spherical fruit is greenish in colour when young but changes to slight yellow once ripe. 

It contains about 50 percent oil, 8.28 percent potassium, 34.86 percent protein, 1.49 percent calcium, 3.37ppm copper, 162.76ppm sodium…. 

It is an excellent source of nutritional minerals and vitamins such as carbohydrate, protein, fat, zinc, sulphur, vitamins B2,… 

It is anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant, reproductive, protective, anti-cancerous,… 

I extracted these details from 

but if you want to read the full facts and benefits of the egusi seed, be sure to check their site

Have you tried your hand at cooking something for the first time without being assisted? How did it turn out?