“Oiless” Egusi and Uziza Soup

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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

3.7 from 3 reviews
"Oiless" Egusi Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 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
  • bouillon
  • Salt to taste
Roughly or smoothly blend the tatase and set aside
Pour the Egusi powder into a dry hot pan and toast for a few minutes.(optional). Transfer the Egusi into a blender and blend with a little water, the onion and atarodo to form a thick paste; then set aside
Wash and place the meats into a soup pot. Season with salt, 1 tbsp. of crayfish, 2 tbsps. dry grounded pepper, salt, bouillon(if using) and the remaining onion. Pour water to the level of the meats and cover tightly. Cook until meat is tender. Pour the blended tatase into the pot and stir. Reduce the heat and scoop dollops of the egusi into the pot with the meat and tatase. Do not stir. Cover the pot and cook until the egusi has formed; then stir. Add the remaining crayfish, dry fish and vegetables. Cook for another 3-4minutes; then add the uziza leaves, stir and set aside. Serve with any swallow, rice or yam



  1. Sherie says:

    Hi Nma, I always enjoy your posts and usually refer to them when needed. Quick question though, (pardon me if it sounds…) but why boil the meat with water at the level of the meat?

  2. Salmz says:

    Hello Nma, thanks for this oiless egusi recipe, cooking is a hobby for me but I’ve never done the oiless egusi thingy. So will give it a try and see how it goes.

  3. Thelma Coleburn says:

    What meat did you use in the your egussi? I am trying your dish right now; wish me luck! I thought it was an easy one because you called it lazy…lol! Alot goes into it actually with all the blending. Will let you know. I still have to make the fufu!!

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