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A flavorful and appetizing soup has been a staple food for generations in the heart of West Africa, particularly in Nigeria. The Niger Delta state is known to be the source of Banga soup, commonly referred to as palm nut soup. The Urhobos and Itsekiris love the meal the best. Other tribes also have their own versions of it. For instance, the Igbo people from the southeast call it “Ofe Akwu.” They both have similarities, yet each tribe uses distinct spices.

Banga soup is a rich, savory dish made from palm fruits, vegetables, and spices. This beloved soup is not only a comfort food but also a symbol of cultural heritage and community. In this feature story, we will take you on a culinary journey to explore the art of making Banga soup.

Ingredients:

  • Beef
  • 1 kilogram of palm fruits or 800 grams of tinned palm fruit concentrate
  • Bitter leaves, scent leaves, or pumpkin leaves
  • 2 medium onion bulbs
  • Dry fish
  • 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish
  • Locust beans
  • Chili pepper
  • Seasoning cubes
  • Salt

Recipe to Make Banga Soup

Step 1: Prepare your ingredients before you begin to cook the Banga soup. If you are using concentrated palm fruit oil in a tin, open the tin and set it aside. If you are using fresh palm fruits, parboil and extract the oil from the palm fruits.

Step 2: After washing the beef, put it in a saucepan with the dried fish, seasoning cubes, and one chopped onion bulb. Cook until the meat is done.

Step 3: Grind the pepper, locust beans, and crayfish. Chop the remaining onion bulb and set aside.

Step 4: Put the pot of palm oil extract on high heat and let it cook until the surface is covered in red oil. Cook the soup until it thickens to your desired consistency.

Step 5: Depending on your preference, wash and cut your scent leaves or use bitter leaves. You also have the option to prepare your Banga soup without any vegetables.

Step 6: Add stock fish, dry fish, and cooked meat to the soup. After adding the pepper and ground crayfish, simmer for approximately five minutes.

Step 7: Add your scent leaves or bitter leaves to the soup, season with salt, and cook for around two minutes.

Step 8: Your Banga soup is ready to be enjoyed. If you are using tinned concentrated palm fruit, add it to the cooked stock fish and beef, and continue with the remaining steps.

Banga soup can be served and enjoyed with the following sides:

  1. Starch
  2. Eba, pounded yam, semo, etc.
  3. White rice and beans

Banga soup is a tasty and nourishing dish with deep roots in West African culture. You can make a delicious and authentic Banga soup that will transport your taste buds to the heart of West Africa by following this step-by-step guide. So grab your ingredients and let’s prepare a hearty and comforting pot of Banga soup.

Daniel Blessing
A mass communication student at Prince Abubakar Audu University, Kogi State.

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