Nigerian Egusi soup, Nigerian soup recipes

Lumpy Egusi and Okazi Soup


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Lumpy egusi and okazi soup! Okazi leaf is mostly used in the eastern part of Nigeria. I recently had a request for lumpy egusi recipe on the blog although,  I have other types of egusi soup (melon seed) cooked with uwgu I thought it’s high time I made another type of egusi soup since some of my readers are now requesting for it. I enjoy egusi soup in any form it comes.

ofe okazi soup made with lumpy egusi.

Lumpy egusi and okazi soup are mostly eaten by the people of Umuahia in the eastern part of Nigeria. They use ‘Achi’,’ Achara’ and ‘Osu’ in making theirs. I have never had it or made it that way before but I am looking forward to making it as soon as I am able to source the ingredients.

This version of my lumpy egusi and okazi soup is the closest you can get if you are unable to source the core ingredients to make the Umuhia type. I used a lot of okazi leaves to make mine (Yoruba style) but you can adjust it to your taste if you make yours.  Also, the egusi lumps can be made smaller or bigger as you desire.

overhead shot of lumpy egusi soup and okazi leave.


500g ground egusi

100g-300g okazi leaves (use according to preference), washed

300-500g goat meat, cooked

500g assorted beef (offal), cooked

Palm oil


1 red bell pepper (optional)

1 medium-size onion

2-3 scotch bonnet chilli


1-2 tbsp ground crayfish

50-100g smoked catfish




How to prepare okazi leave for lumpy egusi soup

Okazi leaves are quite strong and chewy so you might want to chop to tinier bits. I bought frozen chopped okazi leaves and after washing it, I re-cut with scissors. Wash till water runs clean, add boiling water enough to cover the vegetable and leave in for 10-15 minutes, drain and set aside

okazi vegetable.

Add water, salt, seasoning and chopped onions to beef and bring to boil until tender or to preference

Blend red bell pepper, scotch bonnet and onion to a puree and set aside

How to prepare egusi soup with lumps

I used 2 methods to make lumpy egusi, I fried half of the batch and added the other batch in the cooked sauce. They both yielded the same result. When you are making yours just use the one that suits you. I don’t mind both though.

process shot of how to make lumpy egusi by frying it in palm oil. fried lumpy egusi

process shot of how to make lumpy egusi using boiling method.

 Boiled lumpy egusi

Add warm water to the ground melon to form a thick paste, if you wish to fry the egusi then proceed to the next step and if not set your egusi paste aside for now

Add palm oil to a frying pan and place on a medium/high heat, heat oil for about 3 minutes (do not bleach oil) scoop egusi paste into hot oil by using a spoon or your palm. (Pour some water in a bowl and dip spoon or palm in to help melon fall off easily into the oil)

Fry egusi ball for 2 minutes on each side, scoop out of oil and set aside.

Use the remaining oil used for frying to cook the soup and add more if needed

Place a pan on medium heat, add palm oil, heat for 3 minutes, add chopped onions and fry till onions become soft (2-3 minutes should do)

Add blended pepper and bring to boil for about 10-15 minutes (add stock or water to this if you desire)

cooking stew.

If you opt for the second method of making lumpy egusi, now is the time to add the egusi paste into the boiling pepper sauce. Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat and bring to boil for like 10 minutes. If you are using fried egusi, add it to the boiling sauce at this stage.

Add smoked catfish and leave to boil for another 5 minutes.

Then add more water or stock to the boiling sauce if needed

Followed by the ground crayfish

Continue to cook the sauce for another 10 minutes

Add beef/ assorted beef, stir gently to avoid mashing the egusi together (you can take out some egusi lumps if you want and add at the tail end of cooking the soup)

process shot of the sauce base for egusi soup

Add salt and seasoning to taste and cook for another 5 minutes (stir in between)

Add washed okazi leaves to egusi soup, stir till well combined and cook for another 10 minutes. (as I mentioned earlier, okazi can be quite chewy, so you can leave the okazi to cook longer if you want on reduced heat.) serve the ofe okazi with eba (popularly called garri) or any other swallow of choice.


Other recipes with okazi leave

  • Okazi soup is also called Afang soup or eru in Nigeria. It is made with okazi leaf and waterleaf.
  • Ofe Owerri cooked with okazi leaf, uziza, achi and cocoyam



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