Banga Stew

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.

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 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).

Banga Soup

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.

banga sauce

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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).

Step 5

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.

Step 6

Add the squeezed-out palm fruit juice to the boiling meat on fire.
making banga stew

Add the (washed, dried fish and blended crayfish) to the cooking pot and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.

Step 7

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.

Ofe Akwu

Step 8

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”.

banga stew - ofe akwu

Ofe Akwu | How to Cook Banga Stew

Chef Chidi
This recipe shows you how to cook banga stew, a popular food in Igboland.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Nigerian Cuisine
Servings 12 People


  • Pots


  • 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.


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.



Tnks for dropping this here. It’s a relief

August 18, 2023
Ovu Emmanuel

5 stars
Great job

July 9, 2023

5 stars
Aunty chy thanks so much I have tried to learn this Banga stew but it’s difficult but you made it easier for me and I love it thank you so much

June 26, 2021


November 11, 2022

5 stars
Thank you so much Ma, I just prepared my Ofe akwu so yummy. Even the white soup is also delicious.

October 31, 2020

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
Chidi Anegbu

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
Chidi Anegbu

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

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

Wow! So nice!

September 20, 2019

I add okpei when making mine kudos

July 27, 2019
Ainoko Blessing

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

October 22, 2018
Anita ijeoma

Yummy Yummy… God bless Sis Chidi

October 22, 2018

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

May 29, 2018

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

Wow! I love it. thanks for d help

February 4, 2017

Nice banga soup, I will try and cook it.

October 27, 2016

Wow this banga stew is so lovely, bravo ma!

August 14, 2016
Glory Godwin

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

June 25, 2016

m enjoying this web site every day, thanks

June 2, 2016

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

Well done chy

May 13, 2016

U’re d best

May 7, 2016

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

April 30, 2016

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

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

April 28, 2016
Chioma Nwokoma

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

April 28, 2016
Racheal Murphy

so lovely ma u are the best I love you

April 28, 2016

Yea Ofe Akwu is nice,kudos to u.

April 27, 2016

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

Wow so lovely.Tnks ma

April 27, 2016

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

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

April 26, 2016
Chidi Anegbu

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

April 26, 2016
juliet odionye obamwonyi

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

April 26, 2016
mrs Nnoli .E.

it is my favourite

January 18, 2016

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

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

November 26, 2015

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

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
Faith Osawaru

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

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

November 4, 2014

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
Chidi Anegbu

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

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

September 2, 2017

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

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

June 5, 2014

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

You are just simply the best. No more comment

February 19, 2014

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

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

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