Banga stew combines a blend of palm sauce, spices and other natural ingredients to make a delicious stew that is served with white boiled rice.
We call it ofe akwu in Igboland; It is very popular among the Igbos.
Lots of people confuse this for the popular banga soup that is served with starch in the middle belt.
This is entirely different from that version, the itshekiri version.
If that is what you are looking to make, here is the recipe – Delta Banga Soup
The Banga stew (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 harvested from the farm.
That is why it is a little easier for folks in 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 bowl of a delicious plate of rice, served with banga stew (ofe akwu) plus a sprinkle of peas. (I boiled the peas 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).
We can purchase most of these ingredients from any Nigerian market or African shops in case you live outside Nigeria.
Ingredients For Banga Stew (Ofe Akwu)
Serving: 6×2 Persons
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Banga (palm fruit) (9-10 cups)
1 kg of assorted meat
500 g mackerel
A cup of Sliced onions
2 cups of sliced fluted pumpkin(optional)
3 seasoning cubes
A cup of sliced Scent leave
Dried fish (200g)
Half cup of ground Crayfish
Dried pepper to taste
Salt to taste
How to Prepare Ofe Akwu
Below is the image of pounded palm fruit with a portion of the squeezed-out thick palm fruit sauce in a plate.
Soak the dried fish in hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and dirt,
blend the crayfish or blend with dry pepper if you are making banga stew with dried pepper.
Chop the onion and scent leaves, set aside in a plate, I like to make most foods with lots of onions just because of its health benefits.
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 paste.
The palm fruit juice is a major part of banga stew I can also use this in making other Nigerian soups.
Pour the squeezed-out thick juice into a bowl and set aside.
How To Cook Banga Soup (Ofe Akwu).
Wash the meat and mackerel (fish) with water and parboil with a separate pot till it is tender. Season with 2 stock cubes, a teaspoon of salt, half cup of sliced onions).
Remove the fish after 10 minutes.
It is possible to make a delicious meal with tasteless meat, that is the only reason I precook the fish/meat separate before adding them to the main pot.
Add the squeezed-out palm fruit juice to the boiling meat on fire.
Add the (washed, dried fish and blended crayfish) to the cooking pot and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
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.
Add the precooked mackerel fish. I added the fish now because I want to serve them whole. If you add fish earlier to banga stew, they would break before the stew is made.
Cover and cook for another minute then add the chopped vegetables (Ugu)(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”.
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Ofe Akwu | How to Cook Banga Stew
- 10 cups Banga palm fruit
- 1 Kg Assorted meat
- 500 g Mackrele
- 1 sachet of ‘Onga soup’ spice
- A cup of Sliced onions
- 2 cups of sliced fluted pumpkin optional
- 3 seasoning cubes
- 1 cup of sliced Scent leave
- 200 g dried fish
- 1/2 cup ground Crayfish
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Start by boiling the palm fruit with just water, it should be ready to pound in 15 minutes. Pound using mortar and pestle.
- Add water to the pounded Banga seeds and squeeze out the thick paste. It should be around 10 cups and thick. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Season the meat and mackerel and precook using the right spices. A teaspoon of salt, two seasoning cubes, and onions.
- Remove the fish after 10 minutes and cook the meat till it becomes soft.
- Once the meat is cooked, add the palm fruit paste and allow it to boil.
- Add the washed dried fish and crayfish to the boiling pot.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, a seasoning cube and/or onga classic (half teaspoon), taste your stew. Add the remaining sliced onions and the precooked mackerel.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes before adding the chopped scent leaves.
- Banga stew (Ofe Akwu) is served with rice, beans or white boiled yam.
Banga Stew Video
Above is the video for 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.