Agushi Soup Recipe - Traditional Ghanaian Dish

Agushi Soup

Agushi Soup Recipe - Traditional Ghanaian Dish
Region / culture: Ghana | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Agushi Soup
Agushi Soup

Agushi Soup, a traditional West African dish, is a hearty and flavorful soup that is beloved across many countries in the region. It is made with agushi (also known as egusi), which are melon seeds that have been ground into a powder, and is often enriched with meat, fish, and a variety of vegetables. This soup is not only a staple in many African households but also a celebration of the rich culinary traditions of the continent.


The origins of Agushi Soup can be traced back to West Africa, where it has been a part of the local diet for centuries. The use of ground melon seeds as a thickening agent is a technique that has been passed down through generations. Each country and even each family has its own version of the recipe, which can include different types of meat, fish, and vegetables, making it a versatile and adaptable dish.


How to prepare

  1. Grind the agushi with onions until it forms a smooth paste.
  2. Add a small amount of stock to the ground pepper, some of the onions, fish or meat, and salt.
  3. Place the cooking pot on the fire and simmer the mixture gently.
  4. Shape the agushi paste into small balls and place them into the soup.
  5. Pour in the remaining stock.
  6. Add the chopped bitter leaves and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the ground dried shrimp and let it simmer for 1 minute.
  8. Serve the dish hot with eba.


  • There are countless variations of Agushi Soup, including:
  • Using different types of meat or fish, such as chicken, beef, or smoked fish.
  • Adding other vegetables like spinach or kale for a different flavor and nutritional profile.
  • Making a vegetarian version by omitting the meat and using vegetable stock.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the best flavor and consistency for your Agushi Soup, consider the following tips:

- Roast the agushi seeds lightly before grinding them to enhance their nutty flavor.

- Use a combination of meats and fish for a richer broth.

- Be careful not to overcook the bitter leaves to retain their nutrients and color.

- Add the agushi balls gently into the simmering soup to prevent them from disintegrating.

Serving Suggestions

Agushi Soup is traditionally served hot and is often accompanied by eba, fufu, or rice. These starchy sides help to soak up the flavorful broth and make the meal more filling.

Cooking Techniques

The key techniques in making Agushi Soup include simmering and sautéing. Simmering allows the flavors to meld together and the soup to thicken, while sautéing the onions and tomatoes helps to release their natural sugars and enhance the overall taste of the dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If palm oil is not available or desired, other vegetable oils can be used, though the flavor profile will change. Similarly, spinach or kale can be used in place of bitter leaves for a different but still delicious result.

Make Ahead Tips

Agushi Soup can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to a month. This makes it a convenient option for meal prep or for having a nutritious meal ready to go.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Agushi Soup in a large, colorful bowl to highlight its rich color and texture. Garnish with a few fresh bitter leaves or slices of tomato for an added touch of elegance.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Agushi Soup with a light, crisp white wine or a refreshing beer to balance its rich and hearty flavors. Non-alcoholic options include ginger beer or hibiscus tea.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Agushi Soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to a month. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a little water or stock if the soup has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Agushi Soup can range between 300 to 500 calories, depending on the amount of oil and the types of meat used. It's a hearty dish that can serve as a meal on its own, especially when paired with a carbohydrate like eba.


Agushi Soup is relatively low in carbohydrates, with the primary source being the tomatoes and onions. The exact carbohydrate content will vary depending on the specific ingredients and quantities used.


The fats in Agushi Soup come mainly from the palm oil and the agushi seeds themselves. Palm oil is high in saturated fats, while agushi seeds contain a healthier profile of unsaturated fats. Moderation is key to enjoying this dish as part of a balanced diet.


This soup is an excellent source of protein, thanks to the inclusion of meat, fish, and agushi seeds. The proteins are diverse, combining animal and plant sources, which makes it a well-rounded option for muscle building and repair.

Vitamins and minerals

Agushi Soup is rich in vitamins A and C, thanks to the tomatoes and bitter leaves. It also contains significant amounts of iron and calcium, particularly from the agushi seeds, making it beneficial for bone health and blood function.


The primary allergens in Agushi Soup include shellfish (from the dried shrimp) and potential allergens from the meat used. Those with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Overall, Agushi Soup is a nutritious and satisfying dish, offering a good balance of proteins, fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. However, due to its calorie density and fat content, it should be consumed in moderation within a balanced diet.


Agushi Soup is a rich and flavorful dish that embodies the culinary traditions of West Africa. With its combination of nutritious ingredients and hearty flavors, it's a satisfying meal that can be adapted to suit various tastes and dietary needs. Whether enjoyed as part of a festive celebration or a simple family dinner, Agushi Soup is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the African continent.

How did I get this recipe?

. It was a warm summer day, just like any other, when I decided to take a stroll through the bustling market in my village. As I browsed through the colorful stalls filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, my eyes landed on a peculiar looking seed that I had never seen before.

The seed was small and round, with a dark brown color and a slightly nutty aroma. Intrigued, I approached the vendor and inquired about the seed. He told me that it was called agushi, a traditional ingredient used in many West African dishes, particularly in Ghana.

Curious to learn more, I purchased a small bag of agushi and headed back home. As I sat in my kitchen, I began to research different recipes that incorporated this unique ingredient. After hours of reading and experimenting, I finally stumbled upon a recipe for agushi soup that caught my attention.

The recipe called for a mix of vegetables, spices, and of course, agushi seeds. It seemed like a simple yet flavorful dish that I knew I had to try. Excited by my newfound discovery, I gathered all the necessary ingredients and got to work.

I started by roasting the agushi seeds in a hot skillet until they turned a golden brown color and released a nutty aroma. The scent filled my kitchen, making my mouth water in anticipation. Next, I ground the seeds into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, taking care to preserve their rich flavor.

In a large pot, I sautéed onions, garlic, and ginger until they turned fragrant and translucent. I then added in chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, and carrots, letting them simmer in their own juices until they softened and melded together.

As the vegetables cooked, I added in a generous amount of the ground agushi powder, along with some aromatic spices like smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander. The fragrant aroma that wafted from the pot was intoxicating, making me even more eager to taste the final product.

I poured in some rich chicken broth and brought the soup to a gentle simmer, letting all the flavors meld together into a harmonious blend. I tasted the soup as it cooked, adjusting the seasonings until it reached the perfect balance of savory, spicy, and slightly nutty flavors.

Finally, I added in some tender chunks of chicken and let them cook until they were falling-apart tender. The soup was ready. I ladled it into bowls, garnishing each with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

As I took my first spoonful of the agushi soup, I was transported to a world of rich flavors and comforting warmth. The nutty undertones of the agushi seeds paired perfectly with the savory broth and tender chicken, creating a dish that was both satisfying and deeply comforting.

From that day on, agushi soup became a staple in my kitchen. I would often make it for family gatherings, impressing my loved ones with its unique flavors and heartwarming aroma. Each time I cooked the dish, I would think back to that warm summer day in the market when I stumbled upon the humble agushi seed that had forever changed my culinary repertoire.

Now, as I sit in my kitchen, surrounded by the comforting scent of agushi soup simmering on the stove, I can't help but smile at the memories that this recipe has brought me. It's a reminder of the joy and discovery that cooking can bring, and of the endless possibilities that lie within each new ingredient that crosses my path.

I may have learned this recipe from a chance encounter in the market, but it has since become a cherished part of my culinary journey. And as I continue to explore new flavors and ingredients, I know that there will always be room in my heart and my kitchen for the humble yet transformative agushi seed.


| Egusi Seed Recipes | Ghanaian Meat Dishes | Ghanaian Recipes | Ghanaian Soups | Pumpkin Recipes | Shrimp Recipes | Tomato Recipes |

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