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I’m back!

How are we doing? Hope we’ve all had a restful weekend after working 4 days last week. I took a break after all the Ofe Awku of life and Frejon recipes jare, typing out all these recipes is almost as good as cooking, so I decided to rest my arms 🙂 but glad to be back.

Today’s recipe was one of my favourite soups growing up, I ate alot of it especially in university when I finally got a chance to start cooking my own soups (my Mum never let me cook soups for her) that I’m on an Egusi soup sabbatical for now. Guess what? It’s my husband’s favourite soup so I’m stuck with the soup whether I like it or not 😀 .

There are a few methods and ingredients I add to it that makes it worthwhile whenever I make it and that’s what I’m sharing with us today. Most people make the soup with ugu ( pumpkin leaves ) and others with washed bitter leaf,  I prefer the latter because it remains firm in the soup no matter how long it stays. I also add uziza seeds and leaves to mine which makes it spicy and flavourful. Lastly I learnt to fry the ground egusi slightly in palm oil from my Mum before adding it to the soup.

Let’s dig in!

Ingredients : ( 3 litre soup )

6 cups of ground egusi (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup washed bitter leaf

15-20 pieces assorted meat

1 chunky stockfish

1 medium dry fish

3 cooking spoons of palm oil

6 fresh pepper (atarodo )

1 cup whole crayfish

1 medium bunch uziza leaves

2 tablespoons fresh/dry uziza seeds

2 small balls of okpei ( fermented locust beans – Ibo style )

1 tablespoon dry Cameroon pepper

2 Maggi crayfish cubes

1 Maggi cube Salt to taste

Uziza leaf

Uziza leaf

Fresh uziza seeds

Fresh uziza seeds

Washed bitter leaf

Washed bitter leaf

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Okpei

Okpei

Method :

Wash the stock fish head thoroughly to get rid of fish bugs.

Wash the goat meat with salt, season with Maggi cube 1/2 tablespoon dry Cameroon pepper and salt to taste. Boil along with the stock fish head until soft adding a little water at a time so in the end you have at least 1 cup of meat stock left.

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Wash the dry fish in hot water,  set aside. Wash and slice the Uziza leaves thinly, set aside. Wash the bitter leaf properly to rid it of sand especially if you bought it washed from the market. Cut the leaves into tiny little bits, also set aside.

Crush the uziza seeds in a mortar,  set aside.

Wash fresh pepper and blend with the crayfish, okpei and crushed uziza seeds with 1 cup of water.

Crayfish,  pepper, uziza,  okpei blend

Crayfish, pepper, uziza, okpei blend

 

Once the goat meat is cooked, remove the meat from the pot and depending on how soft the stockfish head is, either leave it in the pot to continue cooking or take it out. Add 750ml (3 cups) of water and the crayfish blend to meat stock, cover the pot and let it boil for 20 minutes.

In the meantime,  heat the palm oil in a frying pan and fry the egusi for 5 minutes stirring constantly.

Fried egusi

Fried egusi

Add the fried egusi to the boiling crayfish and meat stock, DO NOT STIR, the egusi will bubble up once added to the pot, just let it be, cover the pot and let it boil for 10 minutes.

The soup should be very thick, dilute with water depending on how loose you want it. Add the Maggi crayfish cubes, dry Cameroon pepper and salt to taste. Stir well to incorporate all the ingredients. Let it boil vigorously for 5 minutes.

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Add the bitter leaf and dry fish, stir constantly from now on till the egusi starts sticking to the bottom of the pot.

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Add the meat back to the pot along with the uziza leaves, let it boil for another 5 minutes then turn off heat.

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Enjoy!

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Azu 🙂 .