Today, I will be showing you guys how to make Banga soup. This soup is a very popular among the Delta state people (south-south region) of Nigeria especially among the Urhobo and Isoko people .It is majorly called banga soup but it is also known as Oghwo amiedi in Urhobo language and Izuwo ibiedi in Isoko.
Though this soup belongs to the south-south region, it has however travelled to other shores of the riverine areas.
Banga soup is mainly made with palm fruits, aidan fruit, banga leaves which is called Obenetietien (it can be substituted with scent leaves and bitter leaves), irugege and oburunbebe spices, chopped onions, scotch bonnet, ground crayfish etc.
The people of Urhobo and Isoko prefer to make this soup with fresh fish, maybe because they are surrounded by rivers. Banga soup is best served with starch by the Niger Delta people, but it can also be eaten with semo, eba, fufu, wheat etc.
It can also be eaten with cocoyam (taro) pudding called kwacoco. This soup is sometimes mistaken for ofe-akwu. Though, ofe-ukwu is prepared it share some similarities with banga soup even though It is often mistaken for ofe-akwu though they have distinct differences.
Aside from the wonderful taste you get from eating banga soup, it also has nutritional benefits that will give you good reason to keep taking banga.
Benefits of Banga Soup
- The presence of palm oil in banga soup makes the soup rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K plays an important part in the clotting of blood, It also prevents heart disease and it also helps in building strong bones.
- You will also find vitamin K in the palm kernel juice; but in this case it contains an antioxidant which prevents cancer.
- The properties of Vitamin K prevent the Alzheimer’s disease and also improves insulin sensitivity
- The magnesium properties in palm kernel oil play a very important role in over 350 enzymes reactions in the body. It also helps in the metabolism of food and the production of proteins and fatty acids.
- After consuming a plate of banga soup the body the body generally relaxed; this is due to the presence of magnesium which is Magnesium is tangled in neuromuscular transmission and all activities of muscle relaxation.
- Intake of banga soup by the elderly which is made with palm kernel juice helps them to prevent diabetes, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart diseases (abnormal rhythm of the heart, heart failure) and osteoporosis.
- Based on research carried out, when you consume soups like banga which contain palm kernel juice helps to prevent syndrome symptoms such as bloating, insomnia, weight, breast tenderness and leg swelling etc. This is all due to presence of vitamin B6 and magnesium.
- Palm kernel juice contains Vitamins A which is very important for an healthy vision and it can slow down the function of the retinal in people who have retinitis pigments.
- Vitamin A also ensures the bone has healthy growth, the reproduction state of health and the immune systems. It helps the skin and mucous membranes resist bacteria and also viruses more effectively.
- Banga soup also contains vitamin E which is a very powerful oxidant that helps to protect the body against cancer, it also gives the skin a fresh look and helps to lower the cholesterol level in the body, hence protecting the heart against diseases.
How to prepare Banga Soup
- 1000g of Palm kernel extract
- 600g of cooked assorted Meat
- 1/2 cup of cooked dried fish(Preferably catfish)
- 1/2 cup of cooked stock fish (optional)
- 150 ml of Beef stock
- 150g fresh fish(optional)
- 1 tablespoon of ground Banga Spice (Aidan fruit+Rohojie)
- A handful of Banga spice leaves (called Obeletientien)…use scent leaves or bitter leaf as an alternative
- Oburunbebe stick (brown herbal stick used for Banga soup)
- 1 small onion bulb, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoonful ground crayfish
- 1 stock cube
- Chili pepper or scotch bonnet( to taste)
- Salt to taste
- If you are going to use fresh palm kernel fruit, you need to boil the fruit for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check to be sure if the skin of the fruit is soft. Then pound with a pestle lightly in a mortar to extract the oil from the fruit. Make sure you don’t break the fruits while you are pounding it.
- Pour some hot water on the pounded fruits and strain the extract through a sieve. Pour the extracts into a pot and boil until it thickens and the oil start rising to the top.
- If you are using the canned palm nut pulp, pour it into a pot and heat up until the oil arises to rise to the top.
- Add your meat stock or water, depending on the consistency you want. The less stock or water you add, the better because this will make the soup thicker. Then leave to boil for 10 minutes.
- Add the chopped onions, dried fish and assorted meat. Then add your pepper, mix it well and then add the ground fish, ground banga spices and seasoning cubes.
- Leave to cook for about 10 minutes then add the oburunbebe stick and fresh fish; cover and cook until the fish is done.
- At this moment, take out the oburunbebe stick from the pot, rinse it and store for use for another time.(you can as well leave the oburunbebe stick till you are transferring it to a container)
- Add the Obeletientien leaves or bitter leaf or scent leaves, stir and let it simmer for about a minute.
- Your delicious banga soup is ready.
- This delicious soup can be served with boulos such as: Starch, Pounded yam, Tuwo masara or shinkafa, Eba etc.
We hope you enjoyed our preparation methods on how to cook banga soup, I will be expecting you guys feedback in the comment section.