Egusi seeds are used as a thickener for soups and stews throughout West Africa. Ground into a paste with a small amount of water, Egusi seeds are added to sauces and soups towards the end of cooking to create a curdled, scrambled egg like texture that is neutral in flavor. It is often added to leafy vegetables with other seasonings. The seeds can also be roasted as a snack, ground and formed into patties, roasted into a spread like peanut butter, or fermented and added to soups or stews. To store keep Egusi seeds in a cool dry place, seeds will keep up to a year.
Egusi seeds are comprised of 50% oil, 78% of which is unsaturated fatty acid, and 35% protein. The seeds are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and alpha-tocopherol, in addition to palmitic, stearic, linoleic, and oleic acids. Minerals found in Egusi seeds include phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, manganese and copper. Egusi is native to West and Central Africa, and can be found especially in Nigeria, Namibia, Ghana.