For the love of Egusi; yet no oil! “Say what? No oil?” That was me asking my brother why in the world he was giving me; a pregnant girl Egusi with no palm oil, which I was craving. There is something about palm oil that I love, but even without the oil, I was totally satisfied.
I was craving Egusi soup on one faithful afternoon, but I wanted Santana a.k.a Akpu(cassava i.e. fufu) to go with it. I went to the African shop by my house and ended up with Lafun(a powder also made from cassava). I did not enjoy my meal that day; as the body wants what it wants 🙂 I talked to my friend Chi and before I knew it she sent me some authentic Akpu powder. And knowing that I had Egusi the previous week, I decided to go healthy with the “oiless” process’ which was absolutely magical to my taste buds.
The way I learnt how to go “oiless”…. It was in 2005 and I was heavily pregnant with ajebutter1. I lived with my brother at the time and me seeing as he was into Nigerian food, I took to making some; until he schooled me with this recipe; which I have tweaked to fit.
The term “oiless” in this recipe, is derived from little oil being used in cooking this soup. The only oil being used is the one from the Egusi itself and the oil from the meat’s broth. Egusi is quite oily, so you would really not be missing much if you do not use any palm oil. If you doubt me, pour some into a mortar and pound it for a few minutes, you would be able to see oil coming from the inside and you would be able to squeeze most of it out.
There is nothing really wrong with palm oil, but for those like my brother who are being extra careful with their diets and still want Nigerian food, this recipe is for you. Oh and yes, I have another oil free recipe here and I hope to share more in the future. Like I always say, food is versatile
- Assorted meats(goat, chicken, beef)
- 1½ cups Egusi powder
- 1 large onion(chop half)
- 2 large red bell peppers(tatase)(blended)
- 3 habanero peppers. Ata-rodo
- 2 tbsps. dry grounded pepper(chili flakes)
- 3tbsps crayfish
- 1 large dry fish(soaked in hot water and washed)
- 3 cups ugu, spinach or kale or vegetables
- ¼ cup chopped uziza leaves
- Salt to taste