For those of you who are familiar with egusi, the egusi stew for this recipe is much thicker than usual to create a better texture for stuffing the flowers, so don't be alarmed if it looks too thick!
For those who aren't, egusi is what you get when dried melon seeds are ground into a powder. It's a common ingredient in West African cuisine and often used to thicken soups and stews.
Serve hot with the extra egusi sauce or a condiment or your choice. I suggest chilli sauce!
12 courgette flowers
For the egusi stuffing
50 ml palm oil
2 big white onions
400g ground egusi seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 sweet red pepper
1 can of plum tomatoes
1 scotch bonnet pepper
400g spinach or kale (washed and chopped)
2 maggi cubes
Maldon salt flakes, to taste
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp ground crayfish
For the batter
100g plain flour
250ml ice cold, sparkling water
Salt, to taste
Sunflower oil, for deep frying
1. Using a blender, take 1 onion and blend with the olive oil and enough water to make a smooth paste. Set aside
2. Pour the plum tomatoes, scotch bonnet, sweet pepper and the onion into the blender and blend until smooth.
3. In a large pan, heat the palm oil until smoking. Then pour in the blended peppers. Add the maggi cubes, crayfish, tomato puree and salt then cover and cook on a medium heat for 10-15 mins.
4. While that's cooking. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat. Pour the ground egusi into the dry pan and use a wooden spoon to stir constantly. Toast for 2-3 mins until the ground egusi is golden brown.
5. Pour into a separate bowl with the blended onion from earlier and mix into a thick paste.
6. Pour the egusi into the cooked blended pepper and stir through. Leave to cook for a further 15 mins adding a little water to prevent burning.
7. Add the chopped spinach/kale and continue to cook until the leaves have wilted down. Then remove from heat and allow to cool.
8. Then stuff each flower with 2 tsp of the egusi and close the petals over. Be careful not to overfill or the flowers won't close.
9. For the batter, mix the flour, sparkling water and salt in a bowl. Coat each flour in the batter and put aside.
10. Heat the sunflower oil in a large pan to a medium/ high heat. Fry the flowers until golden brown then drain on kitchen paper.