Nigerian Banga Soup or Ofe Akwu is native to the Niger Delta and the South Eastern parts of Nigeria.
Unlike the Igbos banga stew, called Ofe Akwu (Ofe means Soup / Stew and Akwu means palm fruit) which is mainly used as stew for boiled white Rice, the deltas
banga soup is best served with starch or eba.
Today’s recipe entails how to make banga soup. Although prepared with similar ingredients, the additional spices used in preparing banga soup makes the difference.
1. Meat (1kg)
2. Medium sized dry fish / smoked fish (1)
3. Crayfish (Ground)
5. Red scotch bonnet pepper “Ata rodo” (8)
6. Fresh prawn [oporo](one cup)
7. Fresh Palm Fruits (Banga) (8 cups)
8. Ataiko (1 tbsp)
9. Iru (1 teaspoon)
10. Oburunbebe Stick (Banga stick) (1)
11. Dried Beletientien leaves or bitter leaves
12. Salt to taste
13. Seasoning cubes
Banga seeds are the major ingredients for making this soup.
1. Cook the meat until it becomes soft and easy to chew. Also, wash and precook the prawn. Then set them aside.
2. Grind and blend the spices to powder (ataiko, Iru and a cup of crayfish). Also blend the pepper.
3. Wash the dry fish and remove the centre bone.
4. Boil the palm fruit for 20 minutes, pound with a mortar and pestle, transfer into a bowl, add water and extract the juice using a sieve.
5. Boil the juice for about 15 minutes till it becomes thick.
6. Add the dried fish, grounded crayfish mix, oburunbebe stick, precooked meat, ground pepper and salt and seasonings to taste. Then boil for another 10 minutes.
7. Add dried beletientien leaves or thinly sliced bitter leaves, precooked prawn, periwinkles and some more seasonings (if necessary). Simmer for about 2 minutes.
Our favourite Banga is ready.