our newbies, the KFB foodie talk column – handled by Dobby of Dobbysignature – is basically for ladies and
‘guys’ that are interested in learning how to cook better ;).
because of the frequent adventures i get to experience in different states of
the country but also because of the frequent stop overs in the states. During
these brief periodic stops, we get to stretch our legs, empty our bowels and
best of all fill our bellies with more food for the rest of the journey.
Whenever the bus stops at Delta State the favorite meal for me is Banga and
starch. There, they serve it in this local dish that makes the soup
even tastier. i don’t know why, but i just can’t get enough of it.
Banga soup which means palm nut soup is native to the people
of the southern part of Nigeria (Niger-Delta). It’s quite similar to Ofe Akwu (Igbo style palm nut soup) & Abak
atama (Efik style palm nut soup) with the only difference being the type of spices and herbs used in preparation. When you go
to buy Palm nuts “Banga” it’s always best to pick the right types to
get the best result. There are usually two types of Banga sold by the traders:
The “Agric”(which is fleshy and therefore would give you more oil
extract) and the “Native”(looks smaller but is known to be sweeter).
It’s always advisable to combine both to get the maximum benefits. Banga Soup
is traditionally served with starch or any other type of “Swallow”
i.e Garri/eba, Semolina, Fufu, wheat meal, corn meal e.t.c. For me, i love
taking mine with both rice and swallow ;).
|Banga soup with starch|
palm nut soup)
Cooking spoon Crayfish, Ground
Crushed or Dried Bitter leaves – Crushed
1: The first step in the preparation of
banga soup is to prepare the spices you’d be adding to the soup. Usually the
banga spice is a mixture of Ataiko, Irugege and Oburunbebe Stick. This is ground into a smooth
powder and set aside. Also leave extra Oburunbebe Stick “Whole” for use while
cooking the soup. Adding the “Whole” Oburunbebe stick tends to add
more flavor to the soup. You can also get the ready made Banga spice from the
2: Rinse the palm nuts 2-3 times with
water then place in a medium sized pot. Add clean water just enough to cover
the palm nuts in the pot and cook on the burner for 15-20 mins till the nuts
get soft. you can check this by biting into one of the nuts. if it’s soft, then
its ready. Strain the liquid used in boiling out and place the palmnuts in a
mortar and pound with a pestle till the skin separates from the kernel. Scoop
the pounded nuts into a clean bowl and add water into it. Squeeze and strain
the palm oil into a bowl
3: Prepare the smoked fish or dry fish
by opening it up from the middle. Remove the bone and gut then soak in hot
water to soften for 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water. Rinse and set
place the Beef and assorted meat in a different pot. Add the Crushed seasoning,
Blended onion and Pepper, Salt and water just enough to cover the meat in the
pot. Cook till the meat gets tender for about 25 minutes leaving the
concentrated meat stock within. Add the soaked fish and cook for 5 minutes
more. Turn off the burner and set aside.
4: Pour the extracted palm nut liquid
in a medium sized pot and cook for about 10 minutes. Gently add the Beef,
assorted meat and fish Stock and stir
5: Add the Banga Spice, ground crayfish
and Whole Oburunbebe stick. Stir and leave to cook with the pot covered for
the burner and serve with Starch or your favorite swallow. You could also serve
this soup with white rice.