[Recipe] Banga Soup that Went to Harvard – Igbo Style

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Banga soup is a south-south delicacy that has crossed the shores of its rivers. It is originally the cultural soup of the Niger-Delta people of Nigeria, particularly the Urhobo ethnic group of Delta state. The urhobo’s call it “oghwo amiedi” and the Isoko people of Delta state call it “izuwo ibiedi”. 

Our focus today, the Igbo’s call it “ofe akwu”.

Health benefits of Banga soup

  • Palm oil in banga soup is rich in vitamin K that is essential for blood clot.
  • It is essential for building strong bones and prevents heart disease.
  • The vitamin k, which contains antioxidants present in Palm kernel juice prevents cancer

Despite these benefits, Palm oil intake could prove hazardous to health since it is rich in saturated fat which could cause high cholesterol. Therefore, intake of this delicacy should not be on regular basis.

Ingredients 

  1. Assorted meat (beef, kanda, pork or fish) depending on your choice
  2. Palm kernel
  3. Dawadawa or Ogiri okpei
  4. Sliced fresh tomatoes (optional)
  5. Fresh or dried pepper
  6. Chopped onion
  7. Ground crayfish
  8. Scent leaf
  9. Maggi cubes
  10. Salt to taste

N/B: Dawadawa is black and flat shaped while Ogiri okpei is black and round shaped. They are both local seasoning 

Directions

  1.  Wash your meat and season with pepper, maggi cubes, chopped onion, and little quantity of water.
  2. Par-boil the seasoned meat but do not allow to cook properly
  3. In a medium bowl, wash the palm kernel with water and boil till soft.
  4. Sieve out the water from the palm kernel and pour the palm kernel into a mortar. Pound the palm kernel till the shaft is separated from the nut.
  5. Add warm water to the mortar and squeeze the oil from the shaft. Continue till the shaft no longer produces oil then dispose the shaft. The oil gotten should not be too watery or too thick
  6. Sieve the oil into the meat and boil properly.
  7. While the meat boils, if you’re using Dawadawa, heat it directly in fire (Be very careful!) and pound. This process is also applicable when using Ogiri okpei.
  8. Once the meat is properly cooked, add the pound dawadawa,  maggi cubes, pepper, chopped onion (optional ) , sliced fresh tomatoes (optional), grounded crayfish and salt to taste
  9. Allow to boil for 5 minutes and add your chopped scent leaves (Nchanwu)
  10. Leave to simmer for a minute and tardahhh your Ofe akwu is ready!

I prefer Ofe akwu with white rice, how about you?
Feel free to make your choice and enjoy!

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