Ugu Seed: Simple Facts, Uses, 4 Recipes You Should Know

ugu seed

Now in this article we’ll be looking at the Ugu seed,

In the previous article we looked at the Ugu leaf.

Ugu seed called Mkpuru Ugu and the pod called Ogbo Ugu in igbo,

At the start of the growing process of the Ugu plant,

The seed is nowhere in the picture aside from the one used for planting like so many other plants.

The Ugu plant first produces leaves,

harvested after about a month; the leaves keep growing and expanding,

Although Ugu plants are grown for seeds, the leaves are not being harvested.

After about five months, a little pod appears and keeps increasing

which takes about four months to get to maturity,

Inside the pod lies the Ugu seed,

the pod known as the fruit of the ugu plant, which is not edible except the seed found inside it.

They are usually produced from matured Ugu plants,

How to Grow Ugu For Its seed

So if you want to grow the Ugu plants for the seeds you will need to grow the plant much longer, although Ugu is an annual crop.

Determine the Ugu plants to be set aside to grow for seed,

The plant grown for seed, the leaves are not being harvested,

They are left alone to grow, that way the plant begins to flower,

Fertilization takes place and boom! The pod appears,

At the sight of the pod, ensure not to cut or tamper with the stem carrying the pod.

The pod houses the seeds; they could be as much as 30-100 seeds depending on the size of the pod.

The fruit is not edible but the seed it carries is edible

Nutritional Information

100g Ugu seed

  • Protein – 36.88%
  • Moisture – 2.58%
  • Fat – 31.56%
  • Ash – 3.45%
  • Fiber – 2.80%
  • CHO – 22.73%
  • Dry matter – 97.42%
  • Energy kcal – 520.68

Mineral Composition

  • Sodium – 3.8 mg
  • Potassium – 342 mg
  • Calcium – 12 mg
  • Magnesium – 6.5 mg
  • Iron – 1.5 mg
  • Zinc – 0.14mg

Description of the Ugu Seed and Fruit (Pod)

ugu pod

The ugu pod has an oval-shape with ridges like Okra and Star fruit,

Its composed of a green outer cover which is 5mm thick

and its white on the inside with a thickness of about 10mm a good similarity is that of a watermelon,

inside it an orange coloured pulp and black round seeds embedded inside the pulp.

The fruits can weigh between 45 – 60kg.

The seed is a round with a hard black shell

formed by two halves, when broken into two halves it contains a white irregular shape or round endocarp that’s edible when cooked.

Large seeds have a diameter that can be up to 5 cm

boiled or roasted seeds tastes like almond,

Uses of Ugu Seed

If you can recap some of the uses of the Ugu leaf which are cooking soup, making juice, to mention a few

The seed is very different in the way it’s used.

For food

  • The seed boiled or roasted and taken as snacks
  • The seed can be further processed to make:
  • Ogiri (fermented slurry),
  • Used in making flour that serves as thickener for soup and sauce
  • The flour is also used in baking products
  • Because of its high oil content it is also used in making oil.
  • Seed oil serves as cooking oil and used in the production of margarine
  • The oil used in making paint and vanishes
  • the young seed and fruit pulp used to make marmalade.


1. How to boil Ugu seed


  • 1 cup Ugu seed
  • 4 cups Water


  • Wash the seed
  • In a pot put in the ugu seed and water
  • Place on a stove
  • Allow to cook for 20 minutes ( by this time the seed should be soft, use a folk to piece in to the seed if it enters its cooked)
  • Turn of the stove, move pot out of the stove
  • Drain the water, allow to cool
  • Remove the outer black cover from the seed
  • Serve

2. Roasting

The process is like boiling only that this time you do not use water.


  • 1 cup of ugu seed


  • Wash the seeds
  • Place the seeds in a grill
  • Allow to roast for about 15 mins

3. Making ogiri from Ugu seed


  • 1 cup Ugu seed
  • 4 cups Water
  • Banana leaf


  • Boil the seed: Follow steps for boiling above
  • Take the cooked seed ensure the outer black cover removed and wrap in banana leaves
  • Allow to ferment for three to four days.
  • Mash and add salt for preservative
  • Tie it with a leave or nylon

4. Making thickener


  • 1 cup Ugu seed
  • 4 cups Water


  • Parboil the seed: Follow steps for boiling but cook for 10 mins
  • Open the seed up (remove the outer black cover)
  • Cut into pieces
  • Sun-dry for two to three days, you can also use a dehydrator
  • After drying
  • Place in a blender and grind.

Health Benefits

  • The seed is nutritious as the seeds are rich in fatty acid
  • Seed contain more blood glucose lowering action than the leaves
  • making a good snack for diabetic.
  • Helps with cancer prevention: The seed has anti-cancer properties
  • The seed contains up to 30% protein

Note: the matured seed are not consumed because they have a high content of anti-nutrient,

seeds best for eating are the not so matured seed,

but you need matured seeds for planting.

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