Banga Stew

Banga 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 a stew with palm oil than groundnut/vegetable oil.

This is entirely different from the Deltan version that is served with starch or eba.

banga stew - ofe akwu

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 gotten from the farm.

That is why it is a little bit 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. (the peas was boiled for 3 minutes on low heat).

Banga Soup

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 For Ofe Akwu (Banga Stew)

Serving: 6×2 Persons

Banga (palm fruit) (9-10 cups)
1 kg of assorted meat
500 g mackerel
1 sachet of ‘Onga soup’ spice
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
Fresh or dried pepper to taste
Salt to taste

“Onga soup (Onga classic)” is a special kind of spice that I use in making Nigerian banga stew 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 are also franchised in almost every country of the world.

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 as seasoning cubes.

The good thing is that you can use almost any spice for Nigerian foods although there are just a few that are irreplaceable.

How to Prepare Ofe Akwu

Below is the image of pounded palm fruit with a portion of the squeezed-out thick juice in a plate.

banga sauce

Soak the dried fish in hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and dirt,
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 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.

sliced onions

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 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.

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 (be sure to add the ingredients – use the 2 seasonings cubes, a teaspoon of salt, half cup of onions).

Remove the fish after 10 minutes.

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.
making banga stew

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” and/or a seasoning cube). Stir and add the scent leave (chopped), sliced onions, salt and pepper to taste.

Add the precooked mackerel fish.

Ofe Akwu

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.

Banga Soup

That is how to make banga soup (stew) in Nigeria, the Igbos call it “ofe akwu”.

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banga stew - ofe akwu

Ofe Akwu | How to Cook Banga Stew

Chy Anegbu
This recipe shows you how to cook banga stew, a popular food in Igboland.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 12 People

Equipment

  • Pots

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Keyword Banga stew, Igbo Foods, Ofe Akwu

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.

47 Comments

Agatha
Reply

U 4got the banga spices. They give the stew a distinct aroma. If u asked the igbo women at the market, they will give you either the ground ones or the ones u grind ursef. Weldon. This is the one website i ve seen well prepared (except the spices i mentioned. Lolz). Others add egusi and okra. A combination i don’t like. Kudos

September 1, 2013
Precious
Reply

I prepared ofe akwu yesterday and my husband did not stop eating rather licking the stew to my satisfaction. Aunty Chy you are a darling for keeping my family  alive. Do u know that now we are eating small  concoction rice and my sweetheart is asking me what is happening. Aunty Chy i love u so much .how i wish my family and i will see u so as to thank and embrace u.God will surely bless u abundantly for everything.

September 14, 2013
becky
Reply

Wooow aunty chy u are God sent. I have learn many things here and thanks for making them easy for me. God bless u more for teaching me how to make ofe akwu (banga soup)

October 6, 2013
fatima
Reply

You are just simply the best. No more comment

February 19, 2014
tina
Reply

Is this the igbo style? Bcos here in. Niger delta we use banga spice and dry bitter leave

June 5, 2014
Amazon
Reply

Yes dear that’s the Igbo style. We eat with rice & is very yummy. Niger Delta eat theirs with eba if am right & i bet is yummy for u guys as well

October 22, 2017
UgoFaith
Reply

Thank you so much for all this details and videos I really appreciate what I have learnt from your sharing. God bless you

September 9, 2014
Gift
Reply

Wow this is grate , but can i use the tin one ? because here in UK i only see the already made banga

October 7, 2014
Chy Anegbu
Reply

Tin Banga? I have not yet try that dear, but you can try it and give us feedback, I do suppose it would serve the same purpose

October 11, 2014
sarah
Reply

The tin is very good, it’s in Nigeria too. Surprisingly Dats what I use each tym I prepare banga.it makes it faster. You are doing a great job kudos to you.

September 2, 2017
ilome
Reply

the tin one with d complete Banga spices will gv u a perfect soul. u can go ahead n try it.

November 4, 2014
Faith Osawaru
Reply

Him I tried it and my daughter ask me to cook it every week end. In short u are a gift from God to mankind. Love u

March 7, 2015
derealprincess
Reply

I stumbled on this site while searching for how to cook white soup and am already an addict. Good job Aunty Chi. God bless u

March 24, 2015
victoria
Reply

I stay in Nigeria, but the last time I went to uk to visit my twin I decided to make banga soup for him, so I went to the shops all I could find was the tin one, decided to use it and it tasted exactly the same like the one squeezed out from palm fruit, it was nice plus I didn’t go through the usual stress of boiling, pounding and squeezing!

March 24, 2015
moniyi
Reply

This is what have been looking for…Banga soup! Thanks Chy.

November 26, 2015
Winnie
Reply

Ofe Akwu is da bomb mehnn…any day any time!! Thanks Ma…I love mine with goat meat, intestine(afor anu) and fish. But pls Ma could this be seen as a healthy food too?

November 26, 2015
mrs Nnoli .E.
Reply

it is my favourite

January 18, 2016
juliet odionye obamwonyi
Reply

Ofe akwu anyday anytime, especially dis time dt tomato is expensive. My kids luv it a lot.

April 26, 2016
Francisca
Reply

I use onga classic to make mine..will try the onga soup. Thanks.

April 26, 2016
Chy Anegbu
Reply

Yes, that works best for banga soup (ofe akwu). Onga soup and Onga classic is one and the same ingredients.

April 26, 2016
Onyinyechi
Reply

Thank you Ma’am. I added the Banga spice (sachet) and it came out great. Thank you once again. Pls how can I prepare white soup?

April 27, 2016
pamela
Reply

Wow so lovely.Tnks ma

April 27, 2016
Eve
Reply

I stay in the States and the only banga we can find here are the tinned ones. They taste great just like the fresh ones.. One secret ive learnt while preparing it is dont add too much water. Thankd

April 27, 2016
JOY
Reply

Yea Ofe Akwu is nice,kudos to u.

April 27, 2016
Racheal Murphy
Reply

so lovely ma u are the best I love you

April 28, 2016
Chioma Nwokoma
Reply

God will surely bless you Chi for magnanimous sharing up knowledge and gift. Love u!

April 28, 2016
Chy
Reply

God will surely bless you Chi for magnanimously sharing your knowledge and gift. Love u!

April 28, 2016
oge
Reply

Madam, u are too much. Taking us round Nigeria. I will surely make this banga soup, have not eaten it since this year. Thanks

April 28, 2016
Mina
Reply

Pls i would like to ask cant it be eaten with eba, pandoyam or fufu? Thank you for your various newsletters.

April 30, 2016
Favour
Reply

U’re d best

May 7, 2016
MUBO
Reply

Well done chy

May 13, 2016
Zukky
Reply

Adding bitterleave is when you want to use it for swallow, as a kind of soup. That is when you add those spices. But here it is a prepared as a kind or alternative to stew for rice.

May 21, 2016
vikky
Reply

m enjoying this web site every day, thanks

June 2, 2016
Glory Godwin
Reply

So sweet ,I can’t Wait to prepare this delicious ofe akwu.thanks and GOD bless u.

June 25, 2016
nasi
Reply

Wow this banga stew is so lovely, bravo ma!

August 14, 2016
Olayinka
Reply

Nice banga soup, I will try and cook it.

October 27, 2016
miriam
Reply

Wow! I love it. thanks for d help

February 4, 2017
Ennie
Reply

I like the way you explained the difference between the Deltan Banga and Igbo banga. I am a Yoruba woman married to a Yoruba man but I love banga and other eastern/southern food.
I have been cooking banga for almost 6years now and I do add scent leave at times which I can use to eat either rice or Eba and my family loves it

August 25, 2017
lilian
Reply

Some people use ehuru aswell and banga spiece, Ehuru gives it that local taste. Try it.

May 29, 2018
Anita ijeoma
Reply

Yummy Yummy… God bless Sis Chy

October 22, 2018
Ainoko Blessing
Reply

I made mine last Friday and it was yummy all the way
.. Thanks so much

October 22, 2018
Yummy
Reply

I add okpei when making mine kudos

July 27, 2019
Franca
Reply

Wow! So nice!

September 20, 2019
Naomi
Reply

Wow I love this and I will try it for my fiance and I am sure he will love it. Thanks aunty chi

November 11, 2019
ify
Reply

Onions in ofe akwu is a big no to me.
The method of adding the extracted akwu juice to cooked meat is also a no to me cos the akwu extract takes time to get thick,when you add your akwu juice to boiled meat,the meat will be too soft and tasteless by the time the akwu juice thickens.

June 20, 2020
Chy Anegbu
Reply

You could make your banga (akwu) extract very thick by using less water while extracting it.
So you spend less time in the kitchen.

June 23, 2020
Chy Anegbu
Reply

Ok, thanks for your input. If you make you palm fruit sauce a little thick, you could add it to the boiling meat. What if you have just 60 minutes to make ofe akwu?

June 26, 2020

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