How unique is the name Egusi? In the 30 years since, egusi production has spread further. The first benefit of egusi seed is that it can make teeth health. The optimal and minimal agronomic requirements should be better understood. This report is the second in a series of three evaluating underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply. Egusi stew!! Melon seed (egusi) is a popular food crop in Nigeria and other African countries that comes with lots of health benefits which are vital for children, young and old, men and women. Almost all the big markets in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, and the other nearby nations sell the seed. Is the egusi plant productive at high elevation? Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: the hot water is to aid the release of the natural oils from the egusi. And there are no major technical barriers to be overcome before advances can be achieved. One approach would be to find uses for the flesh that is now wasted. The timing, however, is not critical…this is one crop in which there is no particular urgency to bring in the mature fruits. Using such simple equipment, the seeds are easily crushed into a peanut-butter consistency.12. Egusi do not do well in open and flat fields. Egusi soup is made of dried, ground pumpkin seeds, spinach, habanero chilis, tomatoes, onions, ground crayfish, palm oil and some kind of meat like chicken or beef. That species is indeed very popular, thanks to its productivity and food quality. MyNAP members SAVE 10% off online. ... Egusi/Bar. It is known by various names such as bitter cucumber, pumpkin seeds, egusi melon, vine of Sodom plant, wild gourd, bitter apple, colocynth or desert gourd. The whole seeds are dry-roasted and consumed as a snack. After a month, fields planted with egusi are typically weed free. Be careful they don’t burn (i will bring a picture later) 2. Oil makes up the seed’s largest nutritional component, averaging more than 50 percent…a figure so high that among major foods only peanut can match it.5 In composition the oil is almost ideal. The protein content compares favorably with that in the most renowned legume seeds.10 The exceptional level of essential amino acids makes the, Egusi seed’s protein content (average total nitrogen 5.75 percent) is higher than in. But for all that egusi is a food crop…and far from a small one at that. Cucumeropsis mannii or Cucumeropsis edulis. Strong teeth require high calcium. One recent analysis recorded its fatty-acid makeup as 63 percent linoleic and 16 percent oleic. The seeds seen in certain marketplaces certainly look like egusi but may well come from related species (see below). There are different ways to prepare this West African pumpkin soup with melon. Out of 6,028,151 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Egusi was not present. [6] Its oil is considered superior to that of peanut, and it sells for higher prices in the market. Little-investigated relatives of economic importance include Coccinia barteri and several species of Cucumis, Zehneria, and Momordica. The volume describes the characteristics of 18 little-known indigenous African vegetables (including tubers and legumes) that have potential as food- and cash-crops but are typically overlooked by scientists and policymakers and in the world at large. Again, the crop cannot expand dramatically if all the seed must be shelled by hand. Ground cover by egusi suppresses weeds until the melon is harvested, by which time the crops have developed a canopy cover of their own.” At that point, the main crop shields the ground and suppresses the weeds without egusi’s help. If you missed the first one lumpy egusi (oshiki) click HERE. Noteworthy is the fact that the seeds can be stored for long periods. Elite types need development. This remarkable defatted solid can be ground into flour with myriad dietary uses. For the seeds to germinate, the soil temperature at 5 cm depth must be at least 15°C. Meaning of egusi. Exactly how much is sold is unknown, but as far back as the 1960s Nigeria was annually producing 73,000 tons. In his recollections of life in Ghana, one commentator notes: “Whenever a group of men were standing around talking, their hands were usually busy dehulling [shelling] egusi seeds.” And another recalling life in Cameroon notes: “On many an evening or hot afternoon in farming villages, women sitting with their families will be deftly and rapidly shelling the seeds ready for sale or home cooking.”. Indeed, it should be able to ride piggyback on a wealth of research already available from its relatives—watermelon, melon, squash, and pumpkin—thereby saving much time and money. Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. The Gourd Family, to which egusi belongs, is represented in Nigeria by 21 genera and 41 species. Citrullus lanatus, or Egusi is a wild gourd native to West Africa and is a relative of the watermelon. Nigerian Egusi Seeds, Whole Melon Seeds for Egusi Soup, Nigerian Seasoning, African Food (200g / 8oz) 5.0 out of 5 stars 5. The seeds are harvested from the gourd and used as a food source and the fruit is not eaten. Rainfall Although drought-tolerant, the plant requires a steady supply of water for best fruit production. Egusi is notable for tolerating an extreme range of conditions, from damp to dry. Crop limits. A high-energy, high-protein concentrate like this might ideally complement Africa’s prevalent diets based on starch-rich grains (sorghum and maize, for instance) and roots (notably cassava). In Ghana, egusi is also called akatoa of agushi, and as in Nigeria is used for soup and stew, and most popularly in palaver sauce. Propagation is exclusively by seed. Before use as food the seeds must be shelled. All are cultivated on a large scale in West and Central Africa as they are easy to grow and their seeds are popular foods, and most of what we say here applies to them as well. Calcium can be obtained from some vegetables and fruits. $12.99 $ 12. They are then washed to remove any remaining pulp fragments and allowed to dry in the sun. For over a decade U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists have studied the seed’s nutritional and functional properties. Major egusi-growing nations include: Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon. [1], Authorities disagree whether the word is used more properly for the seeds of the colocynth, those of a particular large-seeded variety of the watermelon, or generically for those of any cucurbitaceous plant. It proved to have high water and oil holding capacities; it formed thick and stable emulsions.8. Yoruba people in general and quite notably the people of Ọṣun State – especially the Ijesha people – eat "iyan and egusi", a pounded yam and egusi soup. In addition, continual sunshine and clean drying areas are vital, because if the seed starts germinating its value plummets. This is one oilseed that can supply quality food year-round. Any improvement in egusi’s profitability will directly help millions of women of all ages and all rural jobs. Scorching ones? They include the southern Sahelian zones and neighboring savannas and arid areas. But in reality, the situation is confused because the name egusi is applied generally to any of several similar looking seeds. It is also peddled over the Internet, and apparently very successfully; search engines turn up scores of online egusi dealers. And the thickness of the edges varies from flat to molded. Although more than half its weight is edible oil, another 30 percent is protein. For growing watermelon the optimum temperature range is 23-27°C. Botanically speaking, egusi-ito is a monoecious, partially drought-resistant curcurbit. Not only is it tasty and nutritious, it likely would sell at a premium. Are there differences among individuals in such adaptabilities? Agronomic details. 473 homemade recipes for egusi from the biggest global cooking community! Vitamins occurring in notable quantities include B1, B2, and niacin. Soil Not unexpectedly, egusi yields are best on fertile humus-rich loose soil. In addition, calcium is also present in the egusi seed. Ready to take your reading offline? Unlike Oshiki (lumpy egusi), egusi Ijebu is not meant to be lumpy. In Paris, retailers use the (North African, Asian and Cameroonian) name of courge. Though considered taxonomically just another watermelon, there are questions whether the plant is strictly monoecious, or perhaps occasionally dioecious, or mixtures of both? Research challenges will be exposed on every side, however, a few of the things clearly needing investigation include: Floral biology. De-fatted Meal The solid remaining after the oil has been squeezed out contains 60 percent protein. Variegated locusts have been reported to eat egusi seedlings (and everything else of course). In general, however, the kernel contains about 50 percent oil, 30 percent protein, 10 percent carbohydrate, 4 percent ash, and 3 percent fiber. Egusi seed is botanically known as Citrullus colocynthis (Curcurbita citrullus L. or Citrullus lanatus Thumb.) After several days the pulp has decayed, freeing the seeds. Brazilians call it “gilo,” a slight corruption of the name used in … Growth stops below about 18°C and the plant is very susceptible to frost. This plant is easy to grow. Altitude Watermelons grow well up to 1,000 m in the subtropics, and may reach 1,500 m above sea level at tropical latitudes. Most are wild but a number are cultivated. The plant is highly resilient to pests and diseases and is used as a blanket crop to help reduce the growth of unwanted weeds. Synonyms The disagreement on egusi nomenclature is such that the botanical name is variously given as: Citrullus vulgaris Schrader (also watermelon), Citrullus vulgaris Eckl. Matsum. Most are larger than watermelon seeds, but they vary in size and thickness. The figure is based on the dehulled seed, the kernel, which is the edible portion. Egusi (also known by variations including agusi, agushi) is the name for the protein-rich seeds of certain cucurbitaceous plants (squash, melon, gourd), which after being dried and ground are used as a major ingredient in West African cuisine. Egusi soup is a kind of soup thickened with the ground seeds and popular in West Africa, with considerable local variation. Watermelon is also an African native. In addition, the plant might thrive in the Central Asian republics, whose aridity makes many crops difficult to grow. [9] A machine has been developed in Nigeria to shell egusi. The flower structure may resemble a watermelon’s and they can be interbred (though we heard no reports of “cross-contamination” being a problem in the field), but the two plant types are obviously not genetically identical.16 Their other parts look quite distinct. So, follow-up may actually expose a cluster of climbing, crawling, trailing, and creeping herbaceous plants with both individual and common promise—all of them masquerading under the name egusi. Research should be undertaken to explore the possibility of sun-drying egusi roots and burning them. What are the most effective routes to pollination? “Egusi-seed flour contains excellent quantities of the major nutrients, oil, and proteins,” he reports. Egusi is therefore most likely to stay a specialty crop for sale in African food markets. A women’s group of central Benin (Bante) cultivating 10 hectares of egusi earned more than they would have from cotton, the region’s main cash crop. He also reports: “It does not form gas and the school children who have tasted it have not complained of any problems.”. At least within West Africa, getting people to consume more and farmers to grow more should be easy, so long as seeds for planting are available and the harvest continues attracting a fair price. A pre-planting application of complete fertilizer followed by dressings of nitrogenous fertilizer at intervals to maintain a regular growth rate has been recommended. Leaf vegetables typically used for egusi soup include bitterleaf, pumpkin leaf, celosia and spinach. In particular, a machine that facilitates the laborious extraction of egusi kernels will increase production almost beyond measure. Egusi-seed meal is compacted into patties that serve as a meat substitute. “The essential amino acids in the proteins of. Perhaps this is a case where conventional taxonomy is inadequate for determining differences in the DNA. Fufu is made by combining dried yam flour with hot water and beating it until it thickens. High Temperature Excessively high temperatures (over 30°C) during blooming may be harmful, reducing fertilization of the flowers. My mum back in the days would cook egusi Ijebu at least once in 2weeks so i grew up eating this soup a lot. © 2021 National Academy of Sciences. Indeed, egusi is already to be found in many of the nations on which dietary deficiencies hang heaviest, but is not being fully harnessed for humanitarian good. That is not too hard to imagine. Women would be special beneficiaries. Indeed, when grown well, egusi boosts soil quality too. Further, it blankets the soil and helps protect the land. Could egusi become a Russian or. peanut and cowpea and slightly less than in soybean (6.65 percent). Watermelon tolerates not only acidity, but also alkalinity (up to pH 8.0); the optimum pH range, however, is 5.5-7.0. Although in some places women grow egusi, in the main they are they the ones who harvest and process the crop. The Praise Brand Egusi is well packaged under hygienic conditions for … Several varieties of egusi exist in Ghana, Benin and Nigeria. The crop is usually handled like watermelon or pumpkin, species to which it is not only related but similar in plant type and agronomic need. The Pumpkin soup with melon popularly called Egusi soup in West Africa (Nigeria) is not only a traditional delicacy but also an International Cuisine. As we have said, this is no minor food. See recipes for Egusi an shuwaka, Moringa and egusi soup, Egusi soup too. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables. The group’s analyses were mostly done on defatted, low-hull flour—the form most appropriate for processed foods. Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name. It contains numerous quite large seeds each of which may be up to 2 cm long. Such products are typically labelled as natural foods and a variety of claims are made regarding their possible health benefits. The species’ biodiversity needs to be gathered, conserved, and compared. Developing appropriate technologies or tools will do more than almost anything to boost this crop. It doesn’t take much of any food that is half oil and almost a third protein to provide the calories and amino acids that stressed, sick, and fast-growing bodies need each day. Although the exact planting method depends on site and situation, most is sown during the major rainy season, typically after the first few heavy showers. Ukrainian crop? All rights reserved. Whatever the overall conditions, most seeds germinate and within a week seedlings are emerging. Only a few nutritional trials have been conducted. 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