When I was still in secondary school, I had a friend called Joseph who’s my very good friend then, and he usually makes fun of Yoruba foods which is tribe I come from. Joseph usually goes as far of making me feel inferior about Yoruba foods against the Niger Delta – He further invited me to their house in order for me to come and enjoy the delicacies of Niger Delta foods. And the rest is a Story!
To cut the long story short, on this post am going to share with you how to prepare Banga Soup. Banga Soup is a popular food in the southern part of Nigeria, majorly the Niger Delta region. It’s a native food in those regions, which can easily be compared to the Igbo’s Ofe Akwu, but the spices added to this soup made it unique from Ofe Akwu and the aroma and lovely taste from it is out of the box.
According to the historian, Banga Soup is known with several names such as izuwo amedi in the Urhobo language and izuwo edi in Isoko language, while can be used to eat with various fufu recipes: Starch, Pounded Yam, Semolina, Garri and Cassava Fufu. Banga Soup is known with several names such as izuwo amedi in the Urhobo language and izuwo edi in Isoko language.
Ingredients Needed For Banga Soup:
*400g of canned Palm fruit pulp/ 500g Palm Fruits
*500g of cooked assorted Meat
*1/2 cup of cooked dried fish
*1/2 cup of cooked stock fish (optional)
*150 ml of Beef stock
*150g fresh fish(optional)
*1 tablespoon of ground Banga Spice (Aidan fruit+Rohojie)
*A handful of Banga spice leaves (called Obeletientien)…use scent leaves or bitter leaf as an alternative
*Oburunbebe stick (brown herbal stick used for Banga soup)
*1 small onion bulb, finely chopped
*1 tablespoonful ground crayfish
*1 stock cube
*Chili pepper or scotch bonnet( to taste)
*Salt to taste
Before starting to cook Banga Soup
- The number one thing you need to do first is to extract the palm fruit concentrate from the palm fruits. In a situation whereby you’re using the tinned palm fruit concentrate, open the tin and set aside.
- The next you need to do, is to cook the beef and the dry fish with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done. Then you need to start washing and cutting the scent leaves into tiny pieces. The scent leaves give the Banga Stew (Ofe Akwu) its unique aroma and taste. If you are outside Nigeria, this may be hard to find, so you can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable in place of scent leaves. If cooking Delta-style Banga Soup for starch, you should either cook this soup without vegetables or use dried and crushed bitter leaves.
- The next thing is to cut the remaining bulb of onion. Pound the crayfish, ogiri okpei and pepper in a mortar and set aside. You can also grind them with a dry mill.
Cooking Directions for Banga Soup:
- After the cooking gas or stove has lighted on, the next thing to do is to set the pot of palm fruit extract on the stove and start cooking at high heat. Leave to boil till you notice come red oil at the surface of the Banga Stew. If you think that the Banga Soup is watery, cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your stews.
- Now, add the beef, dry fish and stock, the onions, crayfish and pepper and leave to boil very well.
- Add the scent leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for about 2 mins. The Banga Soup is done. Serve with White Rice or use the Delta-style Banga Soup to eat Starch, Garri, Semolina, Amala or Pounded Yam.
Cooking Directions for those using tinned palm fruit concentrate
- When the beef and fish are well done, add the palm fruit concentrate and add water to get the consistency you like for your stews. Leave to boil very well.
- Add the onions, crayfish, pepper and ogiri blend and let it boil very well.
- Add the scent leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for about 2 mins. The Banga Soup is done.
If you used bitter leaves to prepare it, serve with Nigerian fufu meals especially Starch. If you used scent leaves to prepare it, serve with boiled white rice.