How To

How to Cook Banga Soup, 3 Easy steps

Nigerian Banga Soup popularly called Ofe Akwu is a native soup for the Niger Delta and the South Eastern parts of Nigeria. Banga soup is commonly eaten with various food, like fufu, Starch, Pounded Yam, Semolina, Garri, and Cassava Fufu. Ofe means Soup or Stew and Akwu means palm fruit.

A lot of Nigerians enjoy the Ofe Akwu stew because it is so natural, everything used in making the soup is natural unless you want otherwise. The oil is extracted from the palm which is very healthy, and you do not have to bother about using tomato paste if you don’t want to, because you can actually make your Banga stew thick without the paste.

The palm fruit oil extract used in cooking Banga Soup / Stew is quite different from the red palm oil used in cooking Nigerian food recipes. Palm Oil is pure oil extracted from the palm fruit while the palm fruit oil extract used for the Banga Soup is extracted at a very low temperature and is a mixture of oil and water.

4 Steps to follow

step 1

Ingredients for preparing Banga Soup

  • 1 kg Palm Fruits or 800g tinned Palm Fruit Concentrate
  • Beef
  • Dry Fish
  • Vegetable: Scent Leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried and crushed bitterleaf for Delta-style Banga Soup
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 tablespoons ground crayfish
  • Salt and Chilli Pepper (to taste)
  • Ogiri Okpei (Iru)
  • 1-2 big stock cubes

Step 2

What you should do before cooking Banga Soup

  1. Extract the palm fruit concentrate from the palm fruits. If using the tinned palm fruit concentrate, open the tin and set aside.
  2. Cook the beef and the dry fish with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done.
  3. Wash and cut the scent leaves into tiny pieces. The scent leaves give the Banga Stew (Ofe Akwu) its unique aroma and taste. If you are outside Nigeria, this may be hard to find, so you can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable in place of scent leaves. If cooking Delta-style Banga Soup for starch, you should either cook this soup without vegetables or use dried and crushed bitter leaves.
  4. Cut the remaining bulb of the onion. Pound the crayfish, ogiri okpei and pepper in a mortar and set aside. You can also grind them with a dry mill.

Step 3

How to cook Banga Soup

  1. Set the pot of palm fruit extract on the stove and start cooking at high heat. Leave to boil till you notice come red oil at the surface of the Banga Stew. If you think that the Banga Soup is watery, cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your stews.
  2. Now, add the beef, dry fish, and stock, the onions, crayfish, and pepper, and leave to boil very well.
  3. Add the scent leaves or other vegetables and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for about 2 mins. The Banga Soup is done. Serve with White Rice or use the Delta-style Banga Soup to eat Starch, Garri, Semolina, Amala or Pounded Yam.

Step 4

How to cook your Banga soup using tinned palm fruit concentrate

  1. When the beef and fish are well done, add the palm fruit concentrate and add water to get the consistency you like for your stews. Leave to boil very well.
  2. Add the onions, crayfish, pepper, and ogiri blend and let it boil very well.
  3. Add the scent leaves or other vegetables and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for about 2 mins. The Banga Soup is done.

These are the simple steps and with these steps carefully followed you will be able to prepare and enjoy, this special Delta state and South Eastern parts of Nigeria.

Enjoy this delicious soup.

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