Efo Riro w/ Egusi (melon seed)

I haven't made this soup in such a long time. Mostly due to the fact that I usually don't buy Egusi . But now that I do, I'm putting it to work. This post includes a recipe of how I prepared mine. keep in mind that anything goes for most Nigerian dishes as long as you have the key ingredients. You can improvise based on whatever condiments you have in your cabinet. You can add more or take something out, it's all based on your taste buds as long as the dish looks right. This is just one of many ways to make the dish. So, this recipe is more like a guideline, giving you the room to personalized the flavor. This applies to all my future Nigerian dish recipe post.

I am consciously making an effort to cook in small quantities now, so I made a small batch of the soup since there's only two of us. I am so used to cooking large which usually results in the dish lasting longer than I want it to. After a couple of days, we (hubby mostly) kind of get tired of eating the same thing. Let's hope I can keep it up. I made this soup primarily for hubby since he doesn't like okro soup which is what I had. Both were served with pounded yam (a.k.a the sleep medicine according to hubby).

Topped with pepper stew

Okro w/egusi and pepper stew
Pounded Yam for 2

1 10oz bag fresh spinach or choice of leafy vegetable cut and washed
5 tbsp Egusi ( dried and blended, mine was already blended)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced onions
2 diced Jalapenos pepper
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cayenne/red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 maggie cube
4oz tomato sauce
approx 3tbsp vegetable oil
approx 3 tbsp palm oil (If you don't have this, you can use just the vegetable oil)
meat of choice (already boiled and save stock - I used beef and chicken)
salt to taste  (I didn't use any salt, my meat stock had enough in it)

1. In a medium sized pot heat up the vegetable oil and palm oil together
2. Add diced onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno pepper and saute for about 5 mins
3. Add tomato sauce and meat stock
4. Add all other condiments, salt last and let simmer for about 5 mins steering occasionally
5. Add spinach and cooked meat and stir very well into the sauce, add more stock if desired and cook covered for another 7 mins
6. Add Egusi, stir, reduced heat and cook covered for about 5 mins or until all is well cooked

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