Easy and tasty Banga soup recipe
Banga soup is a delicious soup made from palm nut fruit, an assortment of spices, and a variety of meat and fish. It is a popular soup in the Niger Delta part of Nigeria, particularly the Urhobo ethnic group.
Banga is also popularly known as Palm nut soup and it’s not only popular in Nigeria, it’s also a delicacy in Ghana and Cameroon.
In Ghana, palm nut soup is called abenkwan. In Cameroon, it’s known as Mbanga. While in Nigeria, it is called Banga soup, with variant names such as ofe akwu, oghwo amiedi, or izuwo ibiedi depending on the tribe, the ingredients used, and the mode of preparation.
Banga soup is used to accompany other dishes such as fufu, banku, eba, pounded yam. rice, boiled plantains, etc.
- Beef: beef was used in this recipe but you can use an assortment of meat of your choice like tripe, cow leg, or any other beef part of your choice.
- Onion: An essential aromatic that boosts the flavour of the beans. You can use any variety – white, yellow, or red.
- Cameroon Pepper: This is used to add a bit of heat to the soup. You can use cayenne pepper or red chilli flakes if you don’t have Cameroon pepper and if you want less heat, just skip it.
- Seafood: Fresh Shrimps, crayfish, catfish, stockfish (dried cod), dry fish, periwinkles. These are some seafood options that you can use. However, in this recipe, crayfish, stockfish, and dried fish were used.
- Habanero or scotch bonnet: Either will work
- Palm-nut fruit concentrate: the canned version was used in this recipe. However, you can use the fresh palm nut fruit if you have access to it.
- Banga spice: A mixture blend of Ataiko and Irugeje in a dry mill. Readily available in African stores.
- Banga spice leaves(Beletete leaves): You can substitute with dried basil, bitter leaf or dried scent leaves
- Oburunbebe stick: You can get this from African stores.
- Dried Fish: washed and soaked in hot water.
- Salt: Add salt and seasoning powder or seasoning cubes to taste.
- Water/stock: The palm nut concentrate is quite thick, water is needed to loosen it up a bit. I also added the recovered beef stock to boost the taste of the soup. If you don’t have any stock you can add a little more seasoning powder (stock cube).
Steps for making a delicious pot of Banga soup
- Rinse the meat, add the diced onions, Cameroon pepper, seasoning powder, and salt. Stir and leave to cook till the meat becomes tender.
- Add the stockfish and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from the meat, stockfish, and meat sock from the pot and set aside.
- Pour the palm nut concentrate inside the same pot. Dilute with some water and leftover meat stock from the boiled meat. Cover and leave to cook until the oil begins to float on top of the soup.
- Meanwhile, blend the scotch bonnet pepper and the remaining half onion and add to the palm nut.
- Add the Banga spice, smoked fish, meat, seasoning powder, salt, crayfish, and Banga stick. Cover and leave to cook for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in and bitter leaves. Leave to simmer till thickened to your taste.
- Serve hot with starch, pounded yam, semolina, garri or fufu