Sesame Seed Soup

Sometimes I’m in awe at the sheer variety of recipes available in Nigeria. As in! I sent out an appeal on BBM asking for Nigerian soup recipes from all parts of Nigeria. Can I just say my mind was blown!

Sesame Seed Soup

Sesame Seed Soup

Recipes I would never have imagined in my wildest imagination (and my imagination is pretty wild!) were sent to me. I can’t remember the number of times I had to ask the sender of a recipe “am I reading that right, are you sure you mean this ingredient?”.

I got a huge number of strange recipes, and, going by the success of this soup, I’m happy to try them all.

This sesame seed recipe was sent in by a guy on my BBM (thanks, Tuvi!), and , since I had sesame seeds at hand, I decided to try it first.

I’m not sure about the origin of this soup (Tuvi isn’t either), so if one of you knows, please tell me.

Making Sesame Seed Soup

When I got this recipe, I knew I had to make some additions. I eat a lot of sesame seeds, and to be able to please me as a soup, I knew I would have to add some bitter elements. Also, since I prefer Egusi with uziza leaves (instead of ugu), I used uziza leaves instead. I loved it! This soup is certainly going to be appearing more often in my home. I can’t wait to try it with tomatoes, to reduce oil content.

The bitter element here made the soup taste richer and deeper. It couldn’t have tasted better. Try it, and let me know what you think.

When I told HACE I was making sesame seed soup, he said “you’re on your own, I’m not eating that”. After convincing him to take the first morsel of swallow, his tune changed to “na wa o, Naija has food o. Why didn’t you find out about this earlier?”. ***insert eye rolling emoticon***

Sesame Seed Soup

This serves 10


  • 500g of beef, cubed
  • 400g of dried cod, softened
  • 400g of sesame seeds (beniseeds)
  • 1/2 cup of dried crayfish, ground
  • 5 atarodo/scotch bonnet, ground
  • 1 teaspoon of uziza seeds (ashanti pepper), ground (optional, but adds amazing depth)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped Utazi leaf (the bitter element)
  • 1/3 cup of palm oil
  • 3 cups of chopped Uziza leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of salt


Put meat in a pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, half of the atarodo, and 5 cups of water. Set over medium-high heat, and leave to cook.

When the meat is almost done, add the cod, and continue cooking.

Grind the sesame seeds to a smooth powder.

Add palm oil, remaining atarodo, uziza seeds, and crayfish to the meat and cod. Stir and simmer for 7 minutes.

Add the ground sesame seeds and stir. Taste for salt. Add the remaining salt, pinch by pinch, to get to your desired taste.

Cook for 3 minutes, then add utazi leaves and uziza leaves. Stir, cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat.


Hi, my name is Chidinma. I’ve been happily married for 4+ years (actually almost 6 years now), and my husband and I have been trying to have our own children for almost all the time we’ve been married, with no success…yet. We haven’t lost hope (far from it), and we believe it will happen very soon.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 14 comments
Godknows - April 10, 2016

Well done Chidinma. Already salivating by mere following the steps and seeing the pix of the one U prepared! I must try this at home!!!

    Chidinma - April 10, 2016

    Thank you dear. Im sure you’ll love it. Tell me what you think after tasting it.

ipio - April 10, 2016

Sesame seed happens to be the only soup I can call my traditional soup, way back we cook it at home almost everyday and I was really really tired of it, in my home now, I can cook it like once a year, never tried it with uziza though. You might also want to try squeezing oil out of it sometimes, somehow I like it more that way. Enjoy

    Chidinma - April 10, 2016

    Ipio, please where are you from? And how do you squeeze out the oil? Please try it with Utazi and Uziza, i guarantee you’ll make it more than once a year

mama Ethan - April 10, 2016

I’m from plateau state, quaan pan precisely. My mother has been making this soup at home. Can’t claim originators tho as I’ve never bothered asking if its our native soup or a borrowed recipe

    Chidinma - April 10, 2016

    Thank you, Mama Ethan. I got an email saying the same thing.

Miriam - April 10, 2016

Sesame seeds? Isn’t dat wat dey sprinkle on burger buns? Gues it can mostly be purchased from supermarkets right?

    Chidinma - April 10, 2016

    Looool. Yes, it can. I also have it on good authority that i can buy it from the open market.

cute wife - April 11, 2016

Lovely! It’s more like a native soup amongst the Egbiras, it’s made with or without veggies!

Amaka - April 11, 2016

This soup I think originated from Ebonyi State. Is always delicious. I will try it again, I have been thinking of it.

ipio - April 11, 2016

U can buy it in most open market, from those women that sells egusi and other soup ingredients

venuss - April 22, 2016

The Ebira’s cook a lot of this soup too, adding basil(efirin)leaves to it. The seed on its own is somewhat bitter how did you manage?

Amy - July 30, 2016

I am sure it is a native of Benue but neighbours like plateau, Ebonyi ,some parts of
Kogi etc eat it a lot. It grows predominantly along the Benue river

EE - January 31, 2017

My mom used to mix sesame seeds with egusi and add some better leave to it. We only ate occasionally when I was little. I wasn’t bad at all.


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