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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.