Home Nigerian Recipes Banga Soup (Niger-Delta way)

Banga Soup (Niger-Delta way)

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Nigerian banga soup is a quick and delicious Niger-Delta style palm nut soup. It is very easy to make and packed full of flavour 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.

The first time I ever tasted Banga soup was with my dad in Lagos. We were at this restaurant and he ordered Banga soup. I started interrogating him immediately, what is Banga soup? What is it made of etc? My dad just told me, ‘IYA’, calm down, you will see it when they serve us! When they served him his soup, it was in a clay pot. 

You needed to see the look on my face that day.  What!!! My dad was so excited eating his food and he urged me to try it. I’m not going to lie now, I didn’t really understand the soup at all at the time and that did put me off it somehow.

Fast forward some few years later and thanks to the blog, I found myself cooking Banga soup like a pro. The experience was second to none, I was full of joy and happiness. Most importantly, my taste buds thanked me for it.

It was an absolute delight. I can confidently tell you I am now an expert when it comes to making this delicious Nigerian soup.

Banga soup recipe is now very easy to cook thanks to
ready-made canned palm nut fruit. Getting banga spice can be difficult if you
are living outside Nigeria but my friend, Karo said you can make it without the
spice, and you can add a little ‘something’. The little something is a good
quality pepper soup spice like My active kitchen pepper soup spice

This soup is widely appreciated and eaten all over Africa, for example in Ghana, they cook their palm nut soup differently from other African countries and the same goes for the Nigerian version. Follow me as I show you how to make the best Niger Delta  Banga soup recipe ever.

Ingredients

These are what you will need to make this recipe, while this list looks exhaustive, I can assure you that it would be worth it in the end.

Canned palm nut fruit concentrate: substitute it for fresh palm fruit if it is available to you

Banga spice (you can buy a ready mix or simply make your own by blending Ataiko and Irugeje in a dry mill)

Beletete leaves: substitute with dried basil, bitter leaf or dried scent leaves

Oburunbebe stick: You can be forgiven if you can’t source this from outside Nigeria

Fresh catfish steaks, washed, gutted, any other fresh fish would work for this recipe too

Assorted beef: In Nigerian context, assorted beef is referred to as meat offal, eg. Tripe (shaki), lungs, liver, cow leg etc

Fresh Shrimps

Ground crayfish: substitute with dried shrimps

scotch bonnet chilli: While yellow scotch bonnet is recommended, I just used anyone available to me.

Dried cod (panla): substitute with smoked fish

Periwinkle (optional)

Seasoning cubes and beef stock

Salt

Water

Onion

How to cook Banga soup

Season assorted beef and dried fish with salt, onions,
seasoning cubes, add water and bring to boil till tender. (Separate meat from
stock and reserve stock)

Place a large pan on medium heat, add palm nut fruit and
dilute with warm water double of the amount of palm fruit used. I used 800g of
palm fruit so I added 1.6ltr of water to the pan. You can add any tough beef
at this point, this will help soften it more and the flavour infuses as well

Stir till well combined and bring to boil for about 20 minutes.
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

At this point, you will see the palm fruit extract bubbling and
starting to thicken, and the oil floating on top of the soup

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. The Banga spice adds a very rich aroma to the soup and
you can just smell it. Check for salt and seasoning, dilute the soup with
reserved stock if it is too thick. (Stir in between to avoid soup sticking to
the bottom of the pan)

 I left the fresh catfish until the tail end of my cooking because it doesn’t take time to cook at all.

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. (if you need to stir at any point after you have added the fresh fish, you will need to be careful or you can simply hold the pan on its 2 handles and give it a little twirl)

If you want, you can scoop out the floating oil and use it
for another Nigerian local dish

Your soup is ready to be served with starch, Eba, fufu, pounded yam or any other swallow of your choice.

I have other palm nut recipes on the blog you’ll love

Banga Okra

Ofe Akwu

Print Recipe

5 from 10 votes

Banga Soup (Niger-Delta Style)

Nigerian banga soup is a quick and delicious Niger-Delta style palm nut soup. It is very easy to make and packed full of flavour 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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African, Ghana, Nigerian
Keyword: banga soup, banga soup recipe, how to make banga soup, niger-delta banga soup, palm nut soup
Servings: 6
Author: Ajoke

Equipment

  • large pot

Ingredients

  • 800 g palm fruit concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon banga spice you can buy ready mix or simply make your own by blending Ataiko and Irugeje in a dry mill
  • 1-2 tablespoons Beletete leaves
  • 1 Oburunbebe stick
  • 6 medium size fresh catfish steak washed and gutted
  • 800 g assorted beef I used shaki, ponmo and cow-leg
  • 1 cup fresh shrimps
  • ½ cup dried prawns
  • 2-3 scotch bonnet blended
  • 1 cup dried cod panla washed and shredded
  • 1 cup periwinkle optional
  • 2 Seasoning cubes or use as desired about 1 teaspoon stock powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small onion
  • 1.6 litre water that includes the quantity of beef stock used

Instructions

  • Season assorted beef and dried fish with salt, onions, seasoning cubes, add water and bring to boil till tender. (Separate meat from stock and reserve stock)
  • Place a large pan on medium heat, add palm nut fruit and dilute with warm water double of the amount of palm fruit used. I used 800g of palm fruit so I added 1.6ltr of water to the pan. You can add any tough beef at this point, this will help soften it more and the flavour infuses as well
  • Stir till well combined and bring to boil for about 20 minutes. 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
  • At this point, you will see the palm fruit extract bubbling and starting to thicken, and the oil floating on top of the soup
  • 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. The Banga spice adds a very rich aroma to the soup and you can just smell it. Check for salt and seasoning, dilute the soup with reserved stock if it is too thick. (Stir in between to avoid soup sticking to the bottom of the pan)
  • I left the catfish till the tail end of my cooking because it doesn’t take time to cook at all.
  • 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. (if you need to stir at any point after you have added the fresh fish, you will need to be careful or you can simply hold the pan on its 2 handles with a napkin and give it a little twirl)
  • Your soup is ready to be served with starch, Eba, fufu, pounded yam or any other swallow of your choice

Video

Notes

Tips

  • If you want, you can scoop out the floating oil and use it for another Nigerian local dish.
  • Save the orubebe stick to use another time, simply rinse under warm water and store in the freezer until when needed again.

Recipe updated with new pictures and general upkeep. Below are some of the pictures uploaded in March 2015.

If you made this recipe, don’t forget to leave me feedback. Tag me @myactivekitchen on Instagram and save away to your Pinterest.

ATB

Ajoke x

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