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Recipes

Banga Soup | Niger-Delta style palm nut soup

Banga soup is one of the best nourishing soups you can make with palm nut. All it takes is an assortment of spice flavorings, an assortment of meat and fish, and finishing it off with a touch of beletete to elevate this soup. It’s an easy recipe that delivers terrific results!.

Palm nut soup served in a black bowl

Banga soup

Soups and stews are a significant component of the African cuisine, and we have a whole lot of it apart from this Banga soup recipe like Turkey Stew, Ayamase stew, Stewed Spinach (Efo riro), Egusi Soupchicken pepper soup, and much more.

Palm-nut soup with or without fresh fish

Banga Soup can be prepared using fresh catfish (fresh fish Banga soup) or dried/smoked fish.

In this recipe, I opted for dried fish and stockfish, but you can definitely use fresh catfish if that’s your preference. Either way, this soup is very delicious with or without fresh catfish. You can even go a little further by adding okra. 

Ingredients: What goes inside my Banga soup?

  • Beef: I used beef in this recipe but you can use an assortment of meat of your choice like tripe, cow leg, or any other beef part of your choice.
  • Onion: An essential aromatic that boosts the flavor of the beans. You can use any variety – white, yellow, or red.
  • Cameroon Pepper: This is used to add a bit of heat to the soup. You can use cayenne pepper or red chili flakes if you don’t have Cameroon pepper and if you want less heat, just skip it.
  • Seafood: Fresh Shrimps, crayfish, catfish, stockfish (dried cod), dry fish, periwinkles. These are some seafood options that you can use. However, in this recipe, I used crayfish, stockfish, and dried fish.
  • Habanero or scotch bonnet: Either will work
  • Palm-nut fruit concentrate: I used the canned version. However, you can use the fresh palm nut fruit if you have access to it.
  • Banga spice: A mixture blend of Ataiko and Irugeje in a dry mill. Readily available in African stores.
  • Banga spice leaves(Beletete leaves): You can substitute with dried basil, bitter leaf or dried scent leaves
  • Oburunbebe stick: You can get this from African stores or here on amazon
  • Dried Fish: washed and soaked in hot water. 
  • Salt: Add salt and seasoning powder or seasoning cubes to taste.
  • Water/stock: The palm nut concentrate is quite thick, water is needed to loosen it up a bit. I also added the recovered beef stock to boost the taste of the soup. If you don’t have any stock you can add a little more seasoning powder (stock cube).

Tips for Making The most delicious Banga Soup

  1. Season and spice to your level. This is the fun and creative part of cooking this soup. Banga calls for a handful of spice and seasoning so be sure to taste as you go and adjust the flavors as you like.  
  2. A good finishing: I always finish this soup with beletete. It adds richness and makes the flavors come alive. If you don’t have that, feel free to use bitter leaves or scent leaves.
  3. Make enough for the next day: Most soups taste better on the second day, including Banga, so be sure to make enough to have 

Don’t settle for bland Banga Soup! Make it right and you’ll have everyone begging for seconds….and thirds… 

Watch How To Make Banga Soup Below:

What is Banga Soup?

Banga soup is a delicious soup made from palm nut fruit, an assortment of spices, and a variety of meat and fish. It is a popular soup in the  Niger Delta part of Nigeria, particularly the Urhobo ethnic group.

Banga is also popularly known as Palm nut soup and it’s not only popular in Nigeria, it’s also a delicacy in Ghana and Cameroon.

In Ghana, palm nut soup is called abenkwan. In Cameroon, it’s known as Mbanga. While in Nigeria, it is called Banga soup, with variant names such as ofe akwu, oghwo amiedi, or izuwo ibiedi depending on the tribe, the ingredients used, and the mode of preparation. 

Banga soup is used to accompany other dishes such as fufu, banku, eba, pounded yam, rice, boiled plantains, etc.

Is Banga soup good for you?

If you’re wondering if Banga soup is good for you, the answer is yes! Banga soup is nutritious!!.

  • It is rich in minerals
  • It contains unsaturated fat.
  • Helps in the treatment of vitamin A deficiency
  • Rich in vitamin k, 
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Contains many nutrients that support good brain function
  • and much more!…

According to research, Palm oil has been scientifically shown to protect the heart and blood vessels from plaques and ischemic injuries. Palm oil consumed as a dietary fat as a part of a healthy balanced diet does not have incremental risk for cardiovascular disease. Learn more here

If you are drawn away by the high-calorie content, I will want you to reconsider your stance and not miss out on this delicious soup.

a close in picture of Palmut soup in a black bowl.

How To Make Banga Using Fresh Palm Kernel Fruit

    • Boil the palm kernel fruit for 30 minutes until it becomes soft.
    • Transfer the nuts into a mortar and pound gently, making sure you don’t break the nuts.
    • Pour some hot water over the pounded nuts, squeeze and use a sieve to strain out the extract – do this a couple of times until you get all the extract from the nut. 
  • Pour the extract in a pot and boil until it thickens and the oil rises to the top. Then continue with the remaining process in this recipe below. 

You can buy some of the ingredients I used in this recipe below:

Notes:

  1. I have used the canned palm nut concentrate in this recipe. This makes the process of making bangs a little easier and faster than the traditional method which requires making the palm nut extract yourself. However, I have provided a note on how to make Banga using the fresh palm nut fruit below.
  2. You can boil your meat for more or less than 30 minutes, depending on the meat type you use. Tougher meat cut will cook longer while softer meat cut will cook shorter.

Other delicious soups and stews you will love:

  • Ogbono soup: Viscous and hearty soup made with Ogbono seeds (wild mango seeds) loaded with meats and fish simmered in a light delicious broth.
  • Okra Soup: A well-loved soup!
  • West African Chicken Peanut Soup: If you like Peanut Buttery you’re going to love this peanut butter soup recipe. This soup is not only easy to make but incredibly delicious!
  • Chicken Pepper soup: This easy to put together chicken pepper soup is loaded with spicy, bold, and hearty flavors. It’s so easy to make and you can hardly go wrong putting this together.
  • Goat meat pepper soup: Hearty African soup made with Goat meat cutlets or chunks, pepper soup spice and other beautiful condiments
  • The best Egusi soup recipe: Trust me on this. It’s the best!
  • Nigerian Chicken Stew:  This recipe was made with a little twist from the traditional. Check it out!

Let’s Connect! You can find me on Facebook, and Instagram. I love keeping in touch with all of you!

If you make this Banga Soup Recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen

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