You might not be a chef but there are some easy to prepare yet healthy African food that anyone anywhere in the world can I enjoy. For this reason I will be sharing a recipe on how to prepare an oil-free egusi soup but first it is important that you know the beneficial facts of the egusi (melon) seeds.
Egusi is a plant that is common among native Africa and grows throughout the year, it has quite similar to watermelon seeds but has white seeds. It provides amino acids which are not readily available in the body used in regulating metabolism and the cardiovascular system, high in protein which helps in maintaining the body muscles, low in calories, a natural source of Vitamin B complex important for the flow of blood throughout the body system and they also help in strengthening the immune system (Source…http://www.eherb.com/article/1388/egusi-seeds–benefits-side-effects-of/)
No matter how beneficial a food source (s) is/are great to the body, you should not be ignorant of the side effects which might affect some people but not everyone certainly; the most important side effect is that excess consumption can lead to omega-6 fatty acid diseases in the body. Also, check allergies related with the egusi seeds before consumption and store properly.
Back to my recipe, which I discovered only because my father easily gets bored of food made with any kind of oil so once in a while I switch his soup from oil-made to oil-free and I have enjoyed it myself. To prepare this soup, everything has to be rightly measured starting from the water to the ground or blended egusi seeds. The ingredients needed in preparing the oil-free egusi soup fondly called “ilolocha” by my father are egusi seeds, chicken, Pomo, dried fish, Knorr seasoning, salt, ground pepper, onion and crayfish.
Wash your chicken and put into a clean pot filled with a small amount of water for steaming the chicken, add your slice onions, Knorr seasoning and salt into the pot of chicken and leave to boil for some minutes while the chicken is boiling, grind or blend your neat egusi seeds into a bowl. Once the chicken is boiled, add little amount of water into the chicken pot, pepper, crayfish and dried fish, leave to boil for five minutes then add the ground or blended egusi seeds, washed Pomo, Knorr seasoning and salt, after which you leave for extra ten minutes or more (depending on the quantity) to boil during which you stir to ensure that the soup is properly mixed. Have a taste of the soup to ensure that the right amount of seasoning was put into the soup.
The ilolocha (oil-free egusi) soup is ready to be served with any choice of swallow you want, such as Garry (eba), pounded yam, amala, fufu, wheat and a chilled drink or water preferably. And that is how is to prepare and enjoy your healthy or beneficial African soup.
Photo Credit: Nigerian lazy chef.
Bibiana Ossai © 2016.