Banga Soup is well-known in the Southern part of Nigeria. It is a very delicious food and can be served with a variety of dishes such as rice, starch, boiled plantains, yam etc. It is very similar within tribes but the additional spices used for preparing banga Soup, makes it differ in taste and aroma.
Banga soup is known by several names; it is called izuwo amedi in Urhobo language and izuwo edi in Isoko language. Tis a palm nut stew and the palm fruit oil used in cooking banga soup is extracted at a low temperature and it’s a mixture of oil and water. This makes it less saturated than the normal palm oil.
You will need
- 1 kg palm fruits
- Dry fish
- Vegetable: scent leaves or dried and crushed bitterleaves
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
- Salt and chili pepper
- Ogiri okpei also known as iru
- 1-2 seasoning cubes
How to cook: Banga soup (Ofe akwu)
1. Extract the palm fruit concentrate from the palm fruits.
2. Cook the beef and the dry fish with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done.
3. Wash and chop the scent leaves evenly. The scent leaves give the banga stew (ofe akwu) its unique aroma and taste. You can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable in place of the scent leaves.
4. Cut the remaining bulb of onion, pound the crayfish, iru and pepper in a mortar and set aside. You can grind them with a dry mill.
5. Set the pot of palm fruit extract on the stove and start cooking at high heat. Leave to boil till you notice some red oil at the surface of the banga stew. If you think the stew is watery cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your stews.
6. Add the beef, dry fish and stock the onions, crayfish and pepper and leave to boil very well.
7. Add the scent leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. Leave to cook for about 2 minutes and the banga soup is done, you can eat with white rice, semolina, starch, eba, amala or pounded yam.