Nigerian Banga Soup was cooked for the first time in the delta of Niger and the Southern and East part of Nigeria. In areas of the delta, this soup is usually eaten with various fufu recipes: grain, Cassava Fufu, and pounded sweet potato. In a southeast part of Nigeria, Banga Soup is called Ofe Akwu where ‘Ofe’ means soup, and ‘Akwu’ – stewed vegetables. Also in this soup, boiled white rice is used most often.
Traditionally such soup is made in several versions. It is made with fresh or smoked fish. Also, you can make it with meat if you don’t love fish, but it will be not the same. The matter is that aroma of fish is so soft and thin that it ideally corresponds to this soup. If you use meat, consider that meat of wild animals is the best. It perfectly corresponds to banga soup spices, which are used as a part of this dish.
You also need palm fruit juice. You can cook it in two ways. The first is making of fresh coconuts. This way means boiling of palm fruit until they become soft, and then juice extraction. After that, add hot water, and squeeze out chaff to extract more liquid. But also you can save time and buy extract in a can.
How to make Banga soup?
The extract of palm fruit oil used in the cooking of the soup differs very much from red palm oil, which is traditionally used in the cooking of many national dishes of Nigeria. Palm oil is extracted from palm fruit pulp at high temperatures while the palm fruit extract of oil used for soup is made at very low temperature and is a mix of oil and water. The palm fruit oil made for soup contains the smaller amount of saturated fat, than palm oil.
• 1 kilogram of palm fruits or 800 grams of a concentrate of palm fruit,
• Dry fish,
• Vegetables namely dried and pounded leaves of Veronika,
• 2 medium bulbs,
• 2 tablespoons of a ground crawfish,
• Salt and chili pepper according to your taste,
• Ogiri Okpei,
• 1-2 big cubes of soup bouillon spices.
How to cook Nigerian Banga soup? – Basic steps
Before cooking soup, it is necessary to prepare ingredients. Take off the pulp of fruits. When using a tinned palm fruit concentrate, open a can and leave for 10 minutes.
Cook beef and dry fish with the addition of one bulb and cubes until they are ready.
Wash up and cut vegetables into tiny pieces. Leaves of aroma give to Banga Stew its unique aroma and taste. If you don’t live in Nigeria and it is difficult for you to find this aroma, you can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable instead of leaves. At cooking of the soup, you have to make it without vegetables or use dried and pounded leaves of Veronika.
Cut the rest of onions. Also crush a crawfish, Ogiri Okpei, and pepper, and leave the mix for some time.
Take a pot and put palm oil in it to warm. Then place a pot in the furnace and begin to cook at high temperature. Leave mix for boiling, until you notice that red oil begins to boil. If you want that soup turned out watery, cook until soup thickens to a consistency, which you are going to achieve.
Now add beef, dry up fish, onions, a crawfish, and pepper and leave until the mix boils.
Add fragrant leaves or vegetables and salt to taste. Leave mix for boiling, and cook about 2 minutes. Your soup is ready. Serve it with white rice or use grain, Garri, Amala or Pounded Yam.
Councils for those who use a tinned palm fruit concentrate
When beef and fish are ready, add a palm fruit concentrate and add water to receive a consistency, which is pleasant to you. Leave mix for boiling.
Add onions, a crawfish, pepper, and Ogiri and mix well.
Add fragrant leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. Leave to boil within about 2 minutes. When using leaves of Veronika it is also recommended to use the dishes rich with starch. White rice will become an excellent addition to such dish.
Banga soup recipe with seafood
There are also other variations of this soup. The recipe given below contains a large amount of seafood; therefore, it will please everyone who likes shrimps, fish and other fish products instead of meat. The recipe of such dish does not strongly differ from previous and its main ingredient is also coconut, and rice will become an addition. The following ingredients will be necessary for you:
• Palm fruit or coconut extract,
• Ata rodo/habanero pepper,
• One packing of Oburunbebe,
• Dried leaves of Veronika,
• The dried-up red shrimps,
• Fresh shrimps,
• Tilapia or any fresh fish,
• Ground spices,
• The spices mixed in powder to taste,
• Sun-dried fish or smoked fish.
As you can see, such soup is available in a set of variations. Its main advantage is the fact that having cooked it according to any recipe, you receive a dish with unforgettable taste and pleasant aroma of fish. Try to embody one of the recipes and you will pleasantly surprise yourself and your relatives.