Oil palm is a perennial crop which grows in abundance in Nigeria. Its fruit, the palm fruit is juicy. Palm fruits contain oil which can be processed when ripe to produce palm oil which is used in preparing all manner of local delicacies.
Banga soup is the Niger-Delta version of Ofe Akwu Ndi Igbo. It is a very tasty local dish. It is prepared with native spices which give this soup its peculiar flavour. Why don’t you join me on a cooking adventure to the Niger-Delta, I’ll show you how to prepare this delicacy.
Fresh palm nuts
Beletientien or scent leaves
Rinse the meat very well to get rid of
Rinse the palm nuts, put in a pot and add water. Allow it to cook on medium heat. When palm nuts are tender, remove from pot and place in a clean mortar. The next step is the palm oil extraction. To this end, use a pestle to gently pound the palm nuts. Emphasis is on gently; the aim of this exercise is to separate the outer skin from the nut and not to break the palm nuts. When you’re done, keep the pestle aside. If you’re using a large mortar pour hot water into the mortar, otherwise, transfer the palm nuts into a bowl before pouring the hot water. Hot water makes oil extraction which is done by hand squeezing easier. But the water should not be too hot so it doesn’t burn your hands oh! Your palm oil extract should be thick and not too watery.
Decant the oil to a clean pot using a sieve. Add enough water, possibly double the quantity of Banga extract because it needs to cook well. Cook on medium heat for about thirty minutes. At this point, your soup will be thicker; oil will be floating atop the bubbling banga extract.
Add your meat stock to the pot alongside the dry fish, ground crayfish, pepper,
Featured image source: Zeelicious Foods