Egusi Soup (Nigerian Chicken Stew)

Recipe by Nif_H

Egusi soup, also called melon soup (because the Egusi seeds come from a melon of the same name! You can use sunflower or pumpkin seeds though) is a delicacy enjoyed all over West Africa, especially amongst Nigerians anywhere they live. It is arguably the most popular Nigerian soup, especially in the Southern part of that country. There is some discrepancy regarding what should be in the stew - beef, chicken or goat. The precooked deli chicken helps to speed up the process! I have modified a Sandi Richard recipe. Enjoy!

Top Review by Rejji Fubara

First of all, let me say that I commend your interest in African dishes because some ingredients for African dishes are hard to come by. Secondly I would like to take this time to politely correct a big mistake you have made. Egusi Soup is not Nigerian chicken stew because Nigerian chicken stew is completely different from egusi soup. The two can be mixed together after separate completion but as i said, one is not the other. Please visit for a better grasp of what I have just told you and thank you for understanding.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Egusi Paste: Chop seeds in blender. Add chopped onion to blender as you are cutting it. Add shrimp to blender. Blend until it becomes a smooth paste. You will likely need a little water or broth to help it blend.
  2. Stew: Heat oil in a large pot. Add finely chopped onion to oil. Stir until soft and translucent. Add green pepper and sitr.
  3. Add spinach (with moisture from package), tomato paste and spice. Add broth. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove skin from roaster chickens and discard. With your hands, tear off chunks of the meat from chicken and add to the stew. Bring to a simmer again.
  5. Add paste, stir and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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