Banga soup is an African delicacy mostly enjoyed by the South Eastern parts of Nigeria, Banga Soup is also referred to as Ofe Akwu where Ofe means Soup / Stew and Akwu means palm fruit and is used mainly with white rice.
The palm fruit extract used in cooking Banga Soup / Stew is different from Palm Oil used in other food recipes. The palm fruit extract used for Banga soup is squeezed out of the cooked palm friut at a very low temperature and is a mixture of oil and water. Palm fruit oil extracted for Banga Soup contains less saturated fat than palm oil.
1 big dry fish
6 medium size snails (washed with lime or alum)
1 kg Cat fish
2-3kg Oil palm nuts (banga)
1 bulb onion (Finely chopped)
1 Cooking spoon ground crayfish
3 teaspoon dry pepper
½ teaspoon Atariko seed (ground)
½ teaspoon Beletete (crushed)
1/4 Uyayak (optional)
1 tablespoon Dried bitter leaves(crushed)
2 seasoning cubes
Salt to taste
- Wash and Cook your Palm fruit until tender
- When done take out the palm fruits while still very hot (it is easier to extract the concentrate when nut is very hot) put in a mortar and pound until the nuts is separated from the shafts/skin.
- Filter the oily mixture into a pot and allow to boil
- Heat up the extracted banga concentrate until it starts to thicken. add your fresh meat, onions, pepper and seasoning and cook meat until tender.
- Add your fresh fish at this stage.
- Add Banga spices, dried crushed bitter leaves and salt to taste.
- The soup would have thickened by the time the meat is tender and the fresh fish is just cooked and not scattered in the soup.
- Serve hot with a plate of starch, garri, fufu or pounded yam.
- Use the traditional Ewere (clayed plate) to serve your banga soup.
OFE AKWU PREPARATION
1. Filter the oily mixture and allow to boil. Cook the beef with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done. Add dried fish
2. Pound the crayfish, ogiri, okpei and pepper in a mortar and add to the soup and allow to boil very well.
3. Add the scent leaves cut into tiny pieces.
4. Cut the remaining bulb of onion and add the scent leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. The scent leaves gives the Banga Stew (Ofe Akwu) its unique aroma and taste or use pumpkin leaves or water leaf instead. Leave to simmer for about 2 minutes. The Ofe Akwu Soup is done. Serve with White Rice