I struggled for a little while coming up with the title of this recipe. As some of you may know, this picture looks like your typical egusi soup, but it is not. I, like many people I know live in “abroad”, which means I don’t always have easy access to African ingredients. Luckily for me, I do have an African store close by, so I don’t always struggle to find my home ingredients. Truth be told, African stores don’t come close to providing as much variety as is found back home, but… it meets the needs here just fine. One day however, I ran out of Egusi (melon seeds) to make Egusi stew or Egusi soup…
I ran out of Egusi, and I really wanted to make some Egusi stew/soup. The African store was closed, so in true kitchen experimenter fashion, I went into my nearest grocery story to look for what I could something… anything! I thought to myself “even if I couldn’t make egusi soup, I could at least buy some spinach and make my Efo Riro . I found myself wandering around the store before I ended up in the nuts section. There I stood at my local trader joe’s, staring at what looked somewhat like egusi, but was totally different, almond meal looked like it could work…. Well, the rest they say is delicious!
For those wondering, Egusi soup is a West African dish made with a local melon seed (Egusi). I thought since Egusi is a seed and almonds are a nut, they could be similar… well I was right! The almond stew turned out to be even better than the usual egusi soup! Enjoy!
An Egusi Stew Alternative: Nigerian Almond Stew
- 2 lbs of cooked meat I used some beef and tripe that I had boiled, feel free to use goat meat, chicken or any other cooked meat of your choice
- 3 1/2 cups ground almonds
- 1 lb sliced spinach
- 2 cup of broth I used beef broth
- 1/2 cup palm oil
- 1/2 cup flaked smoked fish I used smoked trout
- 1/ 4 cup dried shrimp
- 1 large onion sliced
- 3 habanero/ scotch bonnet peppers sliced
- 2 tsp bullion
- Salt to taste
- In a pot over medium heat, saute the onions and scotch bonnet pepper until translucent in the palm oil.
- Once the onions and pepper have softened up, toss in the cooked meat and keep sauteing for another 5 minutes, after 5 minutes, add in the bullion and stir.
- Turn the heat down to low and begin adding in the ground almonds. Stir continuously for another 5 minutes to prevent the stew from burning.
- After 5 minutes, add in the broth, and continue cooking the stew covered on low heat for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, add in the sliced vegetables, stir and add in the smoked fish and dried shrimp.
- Cover and allow the stew to cook on low-medium heat for another 20 minutes.
- Taste the stew and adjust the salt to your taste.
- Simmer for 5 minutes on low heat, and then serve.