Cooking of banga soup: Ingredients for Banga Soup
1 kg Palm Fruits or 800g tinned Palm Fruit Concentrate
Vegetable: Scent Leaves for Ofe Akwu or dried and crushed bitterleaves for Delta-style Banga Soup
2 medium onions
A handful crayfish or 2 tablespoons of ground Crayfish
Salt and Chilli Pepper (to taste)
Ogiri Okpei (Iru)
1-2 big stock cubes
Before you cook the Nigerian Banga Soup
Extract the palm fruit concentrate from the palm fruits. If using the tinned palm fruit concentrate, open the tin and set aside.
Cook the beef and the dry fish with 1 bulb of diced onion and the stock cubes till done.
Wash and cut the scent leaves into tiny pieces. The scent leaves give the Banga Stew (Ofe Akwu) its unique aroma and taste. If you are outside Nigeria, this may be hard to find, so you can use pumpkin leaves or any other vegetable in place of scent leaves. If cooking Delta-style Banga Soup for starch, you should either cook this soup without vegetables or use dried and crushed bitter leaves.
Cut the remaining bulb of onion. Pound the crayfish, ogiri okpei and pepper in a mortar and set aside. You can also grind them with a dry mill.
Set the pot of palm fruit extract on the stove and start cooking at high heat. Leave to boil till you notice come red oil at the surface of the Banga Stew. If you think that the Banga Soup is watery, cook till the soup has thickened to the consistency you like for your stews.
Now, add the beef, dry fish and stock, the onions, crayfish and pepper and leave to boil very well.
Add the scent leaves or other vegetable and salt to taste. Leave to simmer for about 2 mins. The Banga Soup is done. Serve with White Rice or use the Delta-style Banga Soup to eat Starch, Garri, Semolina, Amala or Pounded Yam
OBE EFO ELEGUSI
**Grind the egusi seeds until smooth.Place in a bowl and dissolve with a little lukewarm water to form a paste.
Dissolving the egusi is optional, but it helps to reduce burning when frying in the oil.
** Slice the vegetables and set aside
** Wash and season the assorted meat and fish with sliced onions, one stock cube(and any other meat seasoning of choice) and salt to taste. Cook until tender and set aside. Reserve the meat stock.
Now to cook the Soup
* Heat up the oil in a pot until hot. Add the dissolved Egusi paste and fry, stirring constantly until the soup begins to thicken. Fry for about 15 to 20 minutes or when you notice the oil rise to the top of the egusi.
* Add the meat stock, mix thoroughly and leave to boil for 10 minutes.
* Add the ground pepper, crayfish, stock cube and the cooked assorted meat & fish and cook for 10 minutes.
* Next, add the fresh fish and cook until the fish is done.
* Then, add the sliced vegetables and salt to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and the soup is ready.