Banga soup (stew) has over the years topped the list of Nigerian stew recipes due to its uniqueness and blend of natural ingredients.
I learned that it is more advisable to make stew with palm oil than groundnut/vegetable oil.
This is entirely different from the Deltan version that is served with starch or eba. If that is what you are looking to make, here is the recipe – Delta Banga Soup
The Banga soup (ofe akwu) is very easy to make and very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria, almost every ingredient used in Making this stew could be gotten from the farm, that is why it is a little bit easier for folks in the rural areas while it remains difficult for people outside the country to find all the ingredients that are required.
This is another kind of Nigerian stew popularly eaten by the Igbos and some other parts of Nigeria; I would prefer this stew above Nigerian tomato stew any day. This is a delicious plate rice, served with banga stew (soup) plus a sprinkle of peas. (the peas was boiled for 3 minutes on low heat)
Here is a list of ingredients used in making Nigerian Banga soup (stew) ‘ofe akwu’, (as the Igbos like to call it). Most of these ingredients can be purchased from any Nigerian market or African shops in case you live outside Nigeria.
- Serving : 6×2 Persons
- Banga (palm fruit) (9-10 cups)
- 2KG of Meat (I used goat meat while making the video below, you can use chicken, turkey or a combination of two)
- 1 sachet of ‘Onga soup’ spice
- A cup of Sliced onions
- 2 cups of sliced fluted pumpkin(optional)
- 2 cubes of maggi
- A cup of sliced Scent leave
- Dried fish (500g)
- Half cup of ground Crayfish
- Fresh or dried pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
The good thing is that you can use almost any spice for Nigerian foods although there are just a few that are irreplaceable.
Below is the image of pounded palm fruit with a portion of the squeezed-out thick juice in a plate and then by the right is sliced onions, scent leaves in a plate.
Chop the onion and set aside in a plate, I like to make most foods with lots of onions just because of its health benefits.
How To Make Banga Soup (Ofe Akwu).
Cook the palm fruits (banga fruits) for 30 to 50 minutes then pound with a mortar and pestle, you will see how this is done in the video below. Pour water in a bowl, add the pounded palm fruit and try to squeeze out the thick syrup. The palm fruit juice is a major part of banga soup this can also be used in making Nigerian soups (then you wouldn’t need palm oil).
Pour the squeezed-out thick juice into a bowl and set aside.
Wash the meat with hot water and parboil with a separate pot till it is tender (be sure to add the ingredients – use the 2 cubes of maggi, a teaspoon of salt, half cup of onions.), It is possible to make a delicious meal with tasteless meat, that is the only reason I advise you to use lots of ingredients while parboiling the meat. Then very little or none while making the main foods, just use the meat stock (water from the meat) and you will be fine.
Add the squeezed-out palm fruit juice to the boiling meat on fire.
Add your spices if it is not yet as tasteful as required. (Sachet of “onga soup” and/or a seasoning cube). Stir and add the scent leave (chopped), sliced onions, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook for another minute then add the chopped vegetables (optional), allow to simmer for another 3 minutes and you just made a delicious Nigerian banga stew (ofe akwu)
Serve with rice, yam or cooked beans
That is how to make Banga soup (stew) in Nigeria, the Igbos call it “ofe akwu”.