Banga Soup is enjoyed by people in the Niger- Delta part of Nigeria. This delicacy made from palm-nuts is one meal you will enjoy eating.
A lot of food lovers shy away from cooking this meal, because of the time it takes to prepare. But with the COVID-19 lockdown, you have all the time in your hands to prepare this meal.
The Igbo version is called Ofe Akwu which includes the addition of ugu ( pumpkin) or scent leaves and tomatoes.
Banga soup is mostly cooked with fish but you can also add meats to it if you choose to. Below are the ingredients you need as well as the step-by-step process to make Banga soup.
- A bowl of Palm-nut
- 1 Medium size catfish or any preferred fresh fish
- Assorted meats of your choice
- 2-3 Medium pieces stockfish (Panla, Okporoko)
- 1-2 Medium dried Fish
- 1/2 Cup fresh or smoked shrimps (Optional)
- 1 Tablespoon ground dried crayfish or prawns ( Prawns preferably)
- 1-2 Tablespoons Banga spice (Blended)
- 1-2 Tablespoons crushed Obeletientien leaves or dried bitter leaves (Native Banga spices)
- 1 Oburunbebe stick
- 2 Scotch bonnet ( Atarodo)
- 1 Medium onion chopped
- 2 Tablespoons dried pepper (Atagungun)
- Seasoning cubes
- Wash the palm-nuts vigorously to remove all traces of dirt. Boil the nuts for 15-20 minutes on medium heat or until the nuts soften.
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- Transfer the nuts into a mortar and pound till the skin begin to break off and the colour becomes even. Do this carefully so you don’t break the kernels.
- Pour some hot water on the nuts still in the mortar and mix thoroughly then strain with a sieve or cloth to extract the palm oil
- Clean and wash your fish thoroughly, especially if you’re using catfish as it can be quite slimy. Wash the catfish with salt to remove the slime.
- Boil your meats with chopped onions, seasoning cube, and salt.
- When it’s tender, add the dried stockfish and the blended Scotch bonnet. Continue to boil till the stockfish is tender and the meat is soft.
- Add the smoked fish, switch off the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer your palm nut extract into a big pot. Add little water and meat stock, place on a hob on medium heat. Mix thoroughly to break up clumps and boil for 10-12 minutes.
- Add the Catfish or your preferred fresh fish and fresh shrimps, turn the heat down, and leave to cook for 7-10 minutes.
- At this time, palm oil would have settled on the top. Decant some of the palm oil if you find it too oily.
- Blend your bitter leaves or Obeletientie. Now, add the dried Obeletientien or bitter leaves, stir and combine then allow it to boil.
- Leave to cook for a further 2-3 minutes and your Banga Soup is ready.
This meal can be served with Eba, Wheat, Semo or Starch also known as Usi. So while you stay at home, use these directions to prepare this delicacy and you will be glad you did.
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