How to cook Banga Soup (Ofe Akwu)
Before you cook the Nigerian Banga Soup
- Extract the palm fruit concentrate from the palm fruits. If using the tinned palm fruit concentrate, open the tin and set aside.
- Cook the beef and the dry fish with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done.
- Wash and cut the scent leaves into tiny pieces. The scent leaves give the Banga Soup (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.
- 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.
- 1 kg Palm Fruits or 800g tinned Palm Fruit Concentrate
- Dry Fish
- Vegetable: Scent Leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried and crushed bitterleaves for Delta-style Banga Soup
- 2 medium onions
- A handful crayfish or 2 tablespoons of ground Crayfish
- Salt and Chilli Pepper (to taste)
- Ogiri Okpei (Iru)
- 1-2 big stock cubes
- Set the pot of palm fruit extract on the stove and cook on high heat. Leave to boil till you notice red oil at the surface of the Banga Soup. If you think that the Banga Soup is watery, cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your soup.
- 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.