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.
The Banga soup (ofe akwa) 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 village 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.
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.
Ingredients: | Serving : 6 Persons
Banga (palm fruit) (about 7 cups)
Meat of choice (I used cow tail while making the video below, you can use chicken, turkey or a combination of two)
1 sachet of Onga soup spice
A cup of onions
Vegetable (as desired)(optional)
2 cubes of maggi
A cup of sliced Scent leave
Dried fish (as desired)
Half cup of ground Crayfish
“Onga soup” is a special kind of spice that I use in making Nigerian banga soup and few other Nigerian foods, You will find this in the video below. Onga is made by promasidora (Nigeria) LTD, I think the company is located in Switzerland.
Like I always say; there are lots of spices and flavors used in making Nigerian foods, most of which is also franchised in almost every country of the worlds. Take knorr cube for instance, this ingredient is available in almost every country of the world in different forms and shapes, knorr or maggi is used in almost every known Nigeria food recipe.
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 a plate of rice served with Nigerian banga stew (ofe akwu)
Soak the dried fish in hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and impurities,
Blend the crayfish or blend together with dry pepper if you are making banga stew with dried pepper, although I prefer to use red fresh peppers.
Chop the remaining onions 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 juice. 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 extract (water from the meat) and you will be fine
add the squeezed-out palm fruit juice to the boiling meat on fire
Add the (dried fish and crayfish) to the cooking pot and cook for about 10 minutes
Add your spices if it is not yet as tasteful as required. (Sachet of “onga soup” or a cube of maggi, knorr or royco).
Stir and add the scent leave (chopped), sliced onions (I use a lot), salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook for another minute then add the chopped vegetables and you just made a delicious Nigerian banga stew (ofe akwu)
Serve with rice, yam or cooked beans
Here is a plate of well-made banga soup (ofe akwu) plus rice, I did add parboiled peas.
Banga Soup Video
Above is the video on making Nigerian Banga soup, This video will make the whole process a lot easy to follow, you will learn about all the ingredients I used in making this Nigerian Stew Recipe and of course the whole tricks involved.