Egusi, also known as Melon seed is widely used in the preparation of a number of african food dishes, including egusi soup, egusi pepper soup, okra and egusi vegetable soup, egusi fried vegetable. A very rich, but expensive vegetable oil is also produced from this seed. In west africa, a region where soups are integral to life, egusi is a major soup ingredient and a common component of daily meals. Coarsely ground up, they thicken stews and contribute to widely enjoyed steamed dumplings. Some are soaked, fermented, boiled and wrapped in leaves to form a favorite food seasoning. The seeds are often shelled and can be eaten individually as a snack, many processed forms of the seeds have made their way into common cooking practices. With further preparation, egusi-seed meal can be pressed into patties to be used like a meat substitute. It contains palmitic, stearic, linoleic and oleic acids important in protecting the heart.
Egusi has very high nutritional value, it is rich in protein, fat and vitamins A, B1, B2 and C
It is made up of 30-40 % protein and about the same proportion of oil
The oil is cholesterol free