What's not to love about a rich meal of fried rice with a colourful mélange of vegetables. In Nigeria, fried rice is often flavoured with curry and Nsukka pepper, and also features meat or seafood in sizeable chunks. To take things up a few notches, we imagined a nut flavoured fried rice suitable for all dietary lifestyles - veggies rich and also protein rich: Enter, Egusi Fried Rice. 

The Egusi is made into balls for tasty, chewy chunks in the rice making for a good meat substitute. This recipe is vegan friendly but can also be adapted to other dietary lifestyle by adding meat or seafood chunks.



WHAT YOU NEED (Serves 4 - 6 people)

  • Egusi powder, 100g
  • Pre-cooked long grained rice or Basmati rice, 400g
  • Vegetable oil - olive oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil etc.
  • Vegetable mix, washed and diced - onions, carrots, runner beans, green peas, mushrooms, red, yellow and green bell peppers, broccoli etc.
  • Curry powder
  • Nsukka black pepper
  • Iru, locust beans
  • Salt as well as other seasoning like nutmeg, thyme, preferred herbs or other seasoning to taste


  1. Put your Egusi in a large bowl. Mix in one table spoon of curry powder, one tea spoon or more of salt, Nsukka black pepper, and other seasoning to taste.

  1. Add about 4 table spoons of water into the Egusi as well as 1 table spoon of Iru, if preferred. Mix thoroughly for a consistent thick batter.

  1. Slice up onions, put in some oil and one more tea spoon of Iru, if preferred and sauté for about 5 mins.
  1. Add in other seasoning to taste - curry, thyme salt and other seasoning, and fry the onions for another 5 mins or more until golden brown. Then add the other vegetables and and some water and let cook for about 8 mins or more depending on whether they are raw or precooked.


  1. If your prefer to cook your veggies until soft, go ahead and add the Egusi batter in sizeable balls using a regular table spoon. If you prefer your veggies crunchy, take out the veggies, leaving whatever stock you have and then add the Egusi batter in small batches to spread all over the pot. Rinse off the Egusi batter left with some water, add to the pot and let cook for about 40 mins.

  1. Check to see the Egusi balls are well cooked. They are well cooked if the centre is off white instead of white. Feel free to add water and adjust seasoning to taste until well cooked.

  1. If you took out your veggies, add them back in and let cook together with the Egusi for about 8 mins or more before mixing in your precooked rice. If not, go ahead and mix in your precooked rice.
  1. Let cook together for about 8-12 mins.

  1. Serve and enjoy.