Recipe: Egusi Sauce

Makes about 2 cups

Raw seeds give Egusi sauce grassy flavor and a little bit of texture. The sauce is popular in central Africa, and can be served over vegetables, meats, and fish.


1 small onion
1 tomato
1 chili pepper (I used a poblano from my garden, but you can go as spicy as you want with this recipe)
red chili powder, to taste
1 1/2 cups ground egusi
1/2 cup water (or as needed)


Hunt down some ground melon seeds. I found these at our local African market. Latino stores have pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, which are an acceptable substitute.

In a food processor, add tomato…

Coarsely chopped onion …

And a chili pepper. I left the poblano on the plant long enough that it turned red. The extra time on the plant made it sweeter :)

Puree everything together…

Add it to a small pot with the egusi…

Some salt and pepper…

And water… Things don’t look so tasty here… but as the water mixes in, things smooth out. You’ll see! :)

Add enough water to make the mixture into a sauce-like consistency. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the raw onion flavor dissipates.

Serve with extra chili powder on top… and grilled meat, such as chicken kabobs, on the side.

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