Egusi draw soup with Fish and Beef


Dear diary,
I have not been able to upload dishes from my kitchen for a while now due to the poor results from the camera, after this week I
promise to start taking pictures with a good camera so that whoever sees them will be forced to cook that day. *wink*
This is my melon draw soup that I ate with eba, it can be eaten with semovita, pounded yam, amala or even semolina or other "swallowables". I ate this soup with rice too, mixed it with my boiled white rice instead of the usual  tomato stew. I can eat just soup, as a meal and be satisfied. That depends on the quantity of soup anyway.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. 1/2 cup Ground ogbono
  2. 1 cup ground melon (egusi)
  3. 1 kg beef
  4. 2 medium sized smoked fish
  5. a handful of hot leaf (vegetable)
  6. 1 cup ground crayfish
  7. 1 teaspoon ground pepper or more
  8. 1 small red onion to steam the beef. 
  9. 2 seasoning cubes
  10. salt to taste
  11. 1/3 cup palm oil
  12. 3 cups water to start with a get stock, you can adjust later if soup starts getting too thick for you. 
The meat is boiled, To really enjoy beef, it has to be boiled with just its juice, salt and a little chopped onion. The water from the washing is allowed to dry up before adding the quantity needed for cooking the meal. Boiling beef in a pot of water toughens it and makes it difficult to cook. It should be boiled, seasoned with knorr or maggi cubes, onion and salt  added.
The pot is allowed to boil until the meat is tender.

The ground melon is put in a mortar, with a little hot water, and salt added for taste, and to be able to  mould the melon into a ball, like dough.

When the meat is tender enough, the smoked fish is washed and added, the crayfish is mixed together with the ground ogbono but kept aside for a while because adding ogbono early will make everything in the pot to get soft, and as a result, the melon lumps will also lose their firmness and crumble in the pot thereby making the soup look like a mixture of clay soil with water.

After adding the fish, the melon that by now has been mashed, or pounded, until the oil  in it  makes the mixture seem like vegetable oil was added to it. The oil from the melon is what guarantees that the melon is ready for molding into lumps.

At this moment, the melon is cut in small sizes that look like the fufu we swallow and dropped one after the other into the boiling pot, with the pepper, covered and allowed to cook. A little quantity of palm oil is poured in and allowed to cook with the  melon.
This method actually takes longer than just cooking melon in a separate pot while the soup cooks, and pouring both together when the cooking is almost done.

The way I cooked this one was by bringing out the egusi from the pot when I tasted and saw that the lumps were ready for consumption. They were all removed from the boiling pot while the ground ogbono is added and allowed to cook.

The handful of hotleaf and seasoning, with a little more salt added to my desired taste.
When the ogbono and crayfish mixture are boiling, one will already feel like enjoying the soup because of the aroma from the boiling pot.

Once the soup is tasted and certified ready for consumption, by me the chef of course, the melon that is eagerly waiting in a bowl is then added and stirred gently. No vigorous stirring please, so that one does not end up crushing the melon lumps into smaller particles. I like the lumps just medium sizes, not big and not small. It actually takes longer to cook the lumps when they are very big in sizes.

The faster the cooker is turned off, the better because prolonging the cooking of this soup actually brings your friendly neighbours to your door, to plead with you for the free recipe of what you are making in the kitchen. WHILE THE COOKING IS PROLONGED, THE AROMA FROM THE CRAYFISH, OGBONO, MELON AND HOT LEAF WITH THE SMOKED FISH CAN MAKE A HUNGRY MAN OR WOMAN  RUN MAD. The aroma is so inviting, and this is one soup I can eat more often without getting tired. It is so refreshing AND HEALTHY.

Melon does not keep long before going sour, to avoid crying over a pot of soup, keep the remnant in a freezer or remember to warm the soup after dishing and serving.
Enjoy my Nigerian soup.

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