Egusi comes from fruit called egusi gourd.Egusi gourd is identical in appearance to a watermelon, but unlike watermelon, the Egusi fruit is bitter and not edible. Egusi is grown predominantly for its seeds that are similar in size to small pumpkin seeds and are similar in flavor.
Egusi seeds are comprised of 50% oil, 78% of which is an unsaturated fatty acid, and 35% protein. The seeds are rich in vitamin A which helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones. It has vitamins B1 and B2 which are important for body growth and the production of red blood cells. Vitamin C, which helps the body absorb iron and maintain healthy tissue, is also found in the seeds. It also has Niacin, which helps maintain healthy skin. They are also a great meat substitute because of their high protein. A very rich, but expensive vegetable oil is also produced from this seed.
Egusi is used to make different stews and soups across West Africa.
In Sierra Leone, it is used to thicken and season vegetable soup, one example of this soup is 'Smoked fish soup'
In Nigeria, it is used because of its protein and fatty content, 'Egusi soup' is indeed a popular dish across Nigeria
In Ghana, egusi is also called 'akatoa or agushi', and as in Nigeria is used for soup and stew, and most popularly in palaver sauce.
If you are yet to try egusi stew or soup, trust and try it, you will absolutely love it.
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