Egusi soup is a kind of soup thickened with the ground seeds of the fat- and protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous (squash, melon, gourd) plants and popular in West Africa, with considerable local variation. Besides the seeds, water, and oil, egusi soup typically contains leaf vegetables, other vegetables, seasonings, and meat. Typical leaf vegetables for egusi soup include bitterleaf, celosia and spinach. Typical other vegetables include tomatoes and okra. Typical seasonings include chili peppers, onions, and iru (fermented beans). Typical meats include beef, goat, fish, shrimp, or crayfish.
In Nigeria Egusi is very popular among the Igbo ethnic group of Southeastern Nigeria, followed by the Yoruba people, other ethnic groups in Nigeria as well as the Hausa of Northern Nigeria also use egusi in their local cuisines.
Osun, a yoruba state happened to be part of the states in Nigeria that loved Egusi so much, the people of Osun state especially the Ijeshas love eating Iyan & Egusi (Pounded Yam & Egusi Soup).
Fun Fact:In the late 1980s, the Canadian government funded a project intended to develop a machine to help Cameroonians shell egusi seeds. A machine has been developed in Nigeria to shell egusi.