Go local with Banga soup

Nigerian Banga soup is a quick and delicious Niger-Delta style palm nut soup. It is very easy to make and packed full of flavor from the herbs and spices used in making it.

You can have this soup from your kitchen to the table in 30 minutes, it is very similar to Ofe Akwu recipe (Ibo style) but they use different spices. Banga soup is popularly eaten with starch but I love mine with pounded yam or Eba.


* Palm fruit/banga extract

* Catfish or any preferred fresh fish

* Assorted meats of your choice

* Chopped pieces of stockfish (panla, okporoko)

* ½ cup fresh or smoked shrimps (optional)

* 1 tbsp ground dried crayfish or prawns ( crayfish preferably)

* 12 tbsp banga spice (you can buy a ready mix or simply make your own

by blending ataiko and irugeje in a dry mill)

* 12 tbsp crushed obeletientien leaves or dried bitter leaves.

* 1 oburunbebe stick (optional)

* 2 scotch bonnet (atarodo)

* 1 medium onion chopped

* 2 tbsp dried pepper (atagungun) this is optional if you’re using

rodo but i l prefer mine really hot.

* ½ cup periwinkles

* Spice cubes (preferably knorr)

* Salt to taste

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* Clean all the proteins you plan to use and boil. If you’re using stock-fish make sure you soak in hot water and salt and boil before further cooking.

* If you have access to the palm fruit (banga) get the extract by; wash the banga thoroughly, boil for 30mins to soften, mash the banga, then wash with hot water to get the extract, finally, put the banga extract on the cooker. You can use the canned palm fruit (banga) if that’s what you have access to

* Place a large pan on medium heat, add banga and dilute with warm water double of the amount of palm fruit used. You can add any tough beef at this point, this will help soften it more and the flavor infuses as well

* Stir well and bring to boil for about 20 minutes, until you see the palm fruit extract bubbling and starting to thicken, and the oil floating on top of the soup. (Don’t cover the pan with a lid at this point as it would boil over. Put a wooden spoon across the pot to stop this from happening)

* Add blended scotch bonnet, assorted beef, periwinkle and cook for another 10-15 minutes

* Add banga spice, oburunbebe stick, ground crayfish and cook for another 10 minutes. Add salt and seasoning. (You can dilute the soup with reserved stock if it is too thick).

* Add fresh fish and shrimps to the soup, add the beletete leaves or bitter leaf and leave to cook on low heat for another 10-12 minutes.

* Your soup is ready to be serve with starch, pounded yam, semolina, garri or fufu (preferably starch).

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