Banga soup, also known as ofe akwu, is indigenous to the Niger Delta (particularly in the Urhobo ethnic group) and South Eastern Nigeria. It is a tasty soup prepared from the palm nut fruit, spices, and various meats and seafood. It is popular not just in Nigeria, but also in Ghana (Abenkwan) and Cameroon (Mbanga). Banga soup is served with various sides such as fufu, banku, eba, pounded yam, rice, boiled plantain, etc.
Ingredients[edit | edit source]
- Meat (e.g. cow leg, goat, tripe)
- Dried panla fish
- Salt, to taste
- Seasoning cubes
- Palm nut concentrate (fresh or canned)
- Scotch bonnet chilli (preferably yellow), blended to a paste
- Banga spice
- Oburunbebe (banga stick)
- Ground crayfish
- Fresh seafood (e.g. crayfish, shrimp, catfish, etc.)
- Banga spice leaves, bitter leaf, or dried basil
Procedure[edit | edit source]
- Carefully rinse the meat and dried fish. Add to pot, and season with salt, onion, and seasoning cubes. Cover with water, and boil until tender.
- Separate the meat and fish from the liquid, reserving both.
- Combine the palm nut concentrate in a pot along with twice as much water. Stir well, and boil uncovered for 25 minutes—it will thicken as it boils, and oil will be floating at the top.
- Stir in the pepper paste, and cooked meat and fish. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the banga spice, oburunbebe stick, pepper, and ground crayfish. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Adjust the seasoning and the liquid level as needed.
- Add fresh seafood and banga spice leaves. Leave to cook for a few minutes.
- Give it a final stir, and serve with starch, banku, fufu, pounded yam, rice, boiled plantain, or boiled yam.
Notes, tips, and variations[edit | edit source]
- You can try any kind of meat or seafood in this soup.
- The onion provides a rich umami flavour and a subtle sweetness.
- Banga spice is a mixture of irugege and ataiko spice. It can be bought in Nigerian stores or markets.